Ten Afghans killed in bomb blast: Officials

A crowd of villagers was watching a dogfight when the blast occurred.

Updated: Feb 27, 2011, 16:38 PM IST

Arghandab: Two bomb explosions on Sunday tore through a crowd of villagers watching a dogfight in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar, killing at least 10, officials said.

Zemarai Bashary, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman in Kabul, said the bombing in Arghandab district targeted villagers and a police vehicle, killing eight civilians and two police.

"There have been two bomb blasts, one at the middle of a gathering and the other on the side of the road nearby. Eight civilians have been killed, two cops have been killed," the spokesman said.

He said a dozen civilians and five police were injured. He did not give details.

Shah Mohammad, the district chief of Arghandab, said the attack was aimed at villagers watching a dogfight.

"People had gathered to watch dogfighting. Two explosions, from planted bombs, happened. Eight people, all civilians, have been killed," he said.

A reporter at the site saw human flesh scattered across the area and several barking dogs leashed to nearby electricity poles.

"I can see human flesh all around me. There are pieces of clothes, shoes and hats scattered all around. I can see a dead dog just next to me," the reporter said.

The bombing follows a deadly Taliban-led campaign of blasts and suicide attacks that have rocked Afghanistan in recent weeks and killed more than 100 people, mostly civilians, this month.

On February 20 nearly 40 people were killed in a gun and suicide attack by at least four Taliban militants on a bank in the eastern city of Jalalabad. That attack was the deadliest to hit the country since June last year.

Most of the recent attacks have targeted densely packed civilian areas.

Dogfighting is popular in southern Afghanistan, but the Taliban banned it as un-Islamic and Sunday`s bombing was the latest attack to target people watching it.

In February 2008 a suicide bombing killed more 100 people gathered at a dogfight.

On Saturday, a suicide bomber in the northern province of Faryab killed four people during a buzkashi match, a traditional Afghan game played on horseback with a dead calf or goat.

Another bombing, using a roadside improvised explosive device, killed nine civilians including women and children in the eastern province of Khost on Saturday.

Bashary accused the "enemies of Afghanistan", a phrase generally used by Afghan officials to refer to the Taliban, of deliberately targeting civilians in their attacks.

"We`ll do all we can to stop these brutalities very soon," he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday`s blasts but similar ones in the past have been claimed by the Taliban, the main insurgent group fighting to topple President Hamid Karzai.

There are about 140,000 foreign troops, most of them American, deployed in Afghanistan to help Kabul defeat the Taliban.

Bureau Report