News / Asia

Suicide Bomber Attacks Shi'ite Shrine in Kabul

People react seconds after a suicide blast targeting a Shi'ite Muslim gathering in Kabul, December 6, 2011.
People react seconds after a suicide blast targeting a Shi'ite Muslim gathering in Kabul, December 6, 2011.

Afghan officials say at least 52 people, including women and children, have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Shi'ite shrine in central Kabul.

Major Kabul Attacks This Year

  • October 29: Suicide car bomber hits NATO bus, killing 13 NATO troops and at least four Afghans
  • September 20: Insurgent with bomb hidden in his turban kills former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani
  • September 13: Taliban attack on U.S. Embassy, NATO headquarters and other buildings kills 16 Afghans
  • August 19: Taliban attackers kill nine Afghans during day-long siege of Britain's cultural center
  • June 29: Taliban suicide bombers and fighters storm InterContinental Hotel, killing 12 people
  • Officials say the suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the Abul Fazel shrine as pilgrims gathered Tuesday to celebrate the Shi'ite festival of Ashura. More than 100 people were also wounded in the blast.

    Eyewitnesses say that some hospitals in the area are overwhelmed with the number of wounded.

    "I took this wounded person to this emergency hospital for treatment, but here, there is not treatment, and no one cares that I have been waiting here for two hours," said Kabul resident Shah Hussein. "I need to take this person to another hospital."

    Authorities say the number of casualties is expected to rise.

    Meanwhile, officials say a second explosion targeted a shrine in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, killing four people. It is not clear whether Shi'ites were also the target of the second attack.

    The Taliban released a statement on Tuesday saying it did not plan the attacks, calling them "cruel and indiscriminate" and blaming them on the "invading enemy."

    The 10-day Ashura festival, which reaches its peak on Tuesday, is the most significant holiday for Shi'ite Muslims. It marks the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai immediately condemned the bombing, saying it was the first time a terrorist attack has taken place on "such an important religious day in Afghanistan."

    Attacks between Afghanistan's Sunni citizens and minority Shi'ite population have been rare in recent years. Attacks between the two groups are more frequent in neighboring Pakistan.

    Officials also said three people were wounded Tuesday when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded in the southern city of Kandahar. The attack did not take place near any building of worship.

    The attacks come a day after world leaders gathered in the German city of Bonn to discuss Afghanistan's future as international combat troops prepare to leave the country.

    President Karzai told the conference that after the withdrawal of NATO troops from his country in 2014, Afghanistan will still need international help for at least another decade.

    Pakistan, considered vital to any prospect of stability in Afghanistan, boycotted the one-day meeting in response to a cross-border attack by NATO late last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

    Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

    Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

    In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

    US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

    Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
    Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
    Video

    Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

    Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
    Video

    Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

    January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
    Video

    Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

    This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
    Video

    Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

    A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
    Video

    Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

    As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
    Video

    Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

    Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
    Video

    Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

    The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
    Video

    Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

    In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
    Video

    Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

    Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
    Video

    Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

    The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
    Video

    Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

    Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
    Video

    Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

    A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
    Video

    Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

    Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

    Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
    Video

    Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

    Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

    VOA Blogs