Paktika playground attack widely condemned
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan government and its western allies on Monday strongly condemned a bomb attack that killed and wounded dozens of people watching a volleyball match in southeastern Paktika province a day earlier.
Sixteen people were killed and another 44, all civilians, were wounded in Sunday’s bomb explosion that ripped through a huge crowd, residents and officials said.
Eyewitnesses said the blast took place when final match of the volleyball tournament was underway in Segana area of Khairkot district on Sunday afternoon.
Volleyball player, Abdullah, who was wounded in the blast, told Pajhwok Afghan News from his hospital bed in Sharana, the provincial capital, that they were playing their final match watched by a large number of people when the blast occured.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah strongly denounced the blast and expressed solidarity with families of the victims in this hour of grief.
A statement from the CEO office said Abdullah was shocked on hearing the sad news.
Abdullah’s first deputy Eng. Mohammad Khan also condemned the blast and said the enemy of peace and stability had carried out the inhuman act in order to please their foreign felicitators.
NATO and the United States also strongly condemned Sunday’s attack that killed and wounded several people, including children.
NATO’s Resolute Support Director of Public Affairs Col. Brian Tribus in a statement said: “We are appalled by the insurgents’ lack of concern for civilian casualties, particularly women and children.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the attack and sharing condolences with the victims.
“The Embassy of the United States condemns yesterday’s horrific attack on a crowd of Afghans playing sports in Paktika province, and offers our sincerest condolences to the victims and their families,” the embassy said in the statement.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned yesterday’s attack in Paktika.
“An attack deliberately targeting a group of civilians playing volleyball is an act bereft of humanity and clearly violates national and international law,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA.
“This attack reflects the intent to destroy lives and spread terror among the civilian population,” he said.
UNAMA reiterated that attacks directed against civilians and civilian locations were grave violations of international humanitarian law, which parties to the armed conflict – including all anti-government elements – must uphold.
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