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Eastern Afghanistan Blasts Kill 8, Injure 40


FILE - Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of an explosion in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan, May 13, 2018. On Friday three explosions rocked a cricket stadium.

A series of explosions killed at least eight civilians and wounded more than 40 others in eastern Afghanistan, provincial authorities told VOA.

Attaullah Khogyanai, provincial spokesperson for eastern Nangarhar province, told VOA the explosions occurred in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, at night at a stadium during a cricket match.

Khogyanai said all three explosions took place in and around the stadium the stadium about 11:30 p.m. local time.

He said the first blast occurred inside the stadium, close to the stage where team members and some officials were sitting to watch the game, and the two subsequent blasts took place outside the stadium.

Among those killed was Hedayatullah Zahir Kamawal, the chief coordinator of the Ramadan Cup, a new cricket tournament planned to be held during the month of Ramadan.

Najibullah Kamawal, the provincial director of Nangarhar’s health department, told VOA that some of the injured were in critical condition.

Authorities have yet to identify the type of explosion and told reporters that police were at the scene and that an investigation was underway.

Taliban insurgents denied responsibility for the attack.

In a statement issued by the his office, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack, saying terror groups would not even spare people during Ramadan.

"Terror groups do not give up killing innocent people during the month of Ramadan, which is a month of worship and forgiving," Ghani said.

John R. Bass, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, tweeted about the attack and pledged that the U.S. would continue to stand with Afghan people to fight terrorism.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but authorities said they suspect the Islamic State group might be behind the attack.

The terror group has carried out similar attacks before in the province.

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