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

    Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

    Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

    Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

    Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

    Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

    People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
    In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
    X
    Mahmoud Bali
    March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
    Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
    Video

    Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

    Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
    Video

    Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

    In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
    Video

    Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

    Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

    There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
    Video

    Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

    Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
    Video

    Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

    More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
    Video

    Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

    Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

    A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

    Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
    Video

    Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

    Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
    Video

    Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

    A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
    Video

    Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

    Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

    All About America

    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