Kabul : Fiftytwo people were killed and at least 130 injured in massive blasts that tore through Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan Tuesday, a day after the Bonn conference that focussed on the strife-ridden nation’s future.
The deafening blasts took place as foreign ministers from the across the world Monday discussed the future of Afghanistan. The Taliban did not participate in the Bonn conference, which was also boycotted by Pakistan following a NATO airstrike Nov 26 that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers.
The blasts took place in succession, with the first one rocking capital Kabul, followed by Mazar-e-Sharif and then Kandahar.
At least 48 people were killed and over 120 were injured when a suicide bombing ripped through a shrine near Afghan presidential palace in Kabul Tuesday morning, officials said.
The blast occurred around 11.45 a.m. when hundreds of people were observing in a shrine in Murad Khani area the 10-day annual Ashura mourning rite.
“Latest reports from police sources in hospitals in different parts of the Kabul city said as many as 48 people were killed and over 120 more were wounded in the suicide bomb attack this morning,” said General Mohammad Zahir, head of criminal investigation department of Kabul police.
“As many as 14 dead, including two children and two women, and 105 injured were admitted to hospitals belonging to the Public Health Ministry this morning from a suicide bombing that occurred in Abul Fazil-ul Abbas shrine in Murad Khani area,” spokesperson for public health ministry, Ghulam Sakhi Kargar told Xinhua.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
An explosion also rocked Mazar-e-Sharif, killing four people and injuring four, northern region police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said.
Mazar-e-Sharif is 305 km north of Kabul.
“The terrorists planted an explosive device inside a handcart and detonated it by remote control, killing four people and injuring four others, all are innocent civilians,” Ahmadzai told Xinhua.
He added that some people were going to attend the Ashura ceremony when the blast occurred and caused the casualties.
The third bombing took place in Kandahar city, injuring five people.
Provincial police chief Abdul Razeq said: “The terrorists planted a bomb in the cavities of a motorbike and detonated it in Charso Chowk of Kandahar city around 1 p.m., as a result two policemen and three civilians were injured.”
Delegates from over 100 countries and international organisations met in Bonn Monday to focus their energies on drawing up a roadmap for Afghanistan’s future. The conference was aimed at mobilising the international community in support of Afghanistan, and beyond 2014, when international combat troops are due to leave the country.