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

    Multimedia Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches Decision

    Missourians tensely await ruling on whether white police officer will be indicted in shooting death of unarmed black teen More

    Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

    Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

    Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

    Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
    Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
    X
    Daniel Schearf
    November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
    During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
    Video

    Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

    During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
    Video

    Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

    New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
    Video

    Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

    Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

    Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
    Video

    Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

    A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

    With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
    Video

    Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

    It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
    Video

    Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

    President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
    Video

    Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

    More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
    Video

    Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

    The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

    The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
    Video

    Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

    Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    All About America

    AppleAndroid