KHOST (AFP) -About 50 people were killed and 60 others wounded when a suicide blast ripped through large crowds gathered to watch a volleyball game in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said.
The attack, the deadliest blast in Afghanistan since 2011, struck during a tournament between three local teams in Paktika province, a volatile region bordering Pakistan.
“The suicide attacker was on a motorcycle, he detonated himself in the middle of a volleyball match,” Attaullah Fazli, deputy governor of Paktika, told AFP.
“A lot of people including some provincial officials and the police chief were there. About 50 people have been killed, and 60 injured, a lot of them seriously.”
The blast in Yahya Khail district of Paktika erupted at about 5pm when hundreds of people were cheering on a match, provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan told AFP.
“The scale of the attack and its aftermath is shocking,” he said. “We have asked Kabul to send us helicopters to take some of the critically wounded for treatment.”
President Ashraf Ghani, who came to power in September, swiftly condemned the attack, describing it as “inhumane and un-Islamic”.
“This kind of brutal killing of civilians cannot be justified,” he said in a statement.