At least 19 people were killed and many were injured in a massive grenade explosion at a cricket stadium.
The presumed suicide bombing took place at Kabul International Cricket Stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a T20 match was in progress.
At around 4.30 pm on Thursday, the Shpageeza League game was interrupted by a powerful explosion presumably orchestrated by a terrorist armed with a grenade.
While local reports initially suggested there were no casualties, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres claimed at least 19 people were killed in the blast
“I strongly condemn Friday’s attack at the Kabul International Cricket Stadium, which claimed the lives of at least 19 civilians & caused additional casualties,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Attacks against civilians and civilian objects are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.”
Confirming the attack was also Taliban spokesman Khalid Zadran who said the match restarted after a clean-up.
“The match stopped for a while. After clean-up of the area the match restarted,” he told REUTERS.
As of this writing, the exact death toll remains unclear. It is also yet to be confirmed who was responsible for the attack.
Following the blast, Taliban fighters were seen patrolling the areas around the stadium.
“Today’s blast is yet another harrowing reminder of the terrifying and sudden violence that the population in Afghanistan continues to be exposed to,” Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan said.
“Sports bring people hope, inspire children and generations alike, play a crucial role in breaking down barriers and bringing communities together, and serve as an important source of pride.”
He continued: “I reiterate that directing attacks against the population, including sporting facilities, is strictly prohibited.”
Our thoughts are with the victims of the blast and their families.
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