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

    Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

    As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

    South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

    Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

    Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

    IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
    A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
    X
    September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
    Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
    Video

    Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

    Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
    Video

    Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

    In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
    Video

    Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

    The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

    More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
    Video

    Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

    China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
    Video

    Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

    Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
    Video

    Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

    As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
    Video

    Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

    The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


    Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

    AppleAndroid