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

    Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

    Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

    SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

    Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

    Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

    Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
    Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
    X
    June Soh
    January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
    The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

    The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

    U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
    Video

    Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

    Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

    The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
    Video

    Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

    Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
    Video

    Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

    Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
    Video

    Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

    Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
    Video

    Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

    The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

    Circumventing Censorship

    An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

    As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
    More

    All About America

    AppleAndroid