Two Blasts Kill at Least 20 in Kabul

Twin bombing kills at least 20 at a sports club in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 5, 2018 Twin bombing kills at least 20 at a sports club in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 5, 2018 Rahmat Gul/AP

17 September  2018

A twin bombing attack at a sports club in western Kabul killed at least 20 people, including two journalists, and injured 70 others.

On 5 September 2018, a double bombing occurred at a sports club during a wrestling session in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. A suicide bomber detonated the first explosion inside of the club, killing four people according to BCC. The second explosion was triggered by a car bomb said Najib Danish, the interior ministry spokesman. The twin bombings killed at least 20 people.

CNN reported that ISIS took responsibility for the attack in the predominantly Shia neighborhood in Kabul. This neighborhood has a community of the Shia Muslim Hazaras, an ethnic minority who are frequently targeted by ISIS attacks according to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). The initial explosion targeted civilians within the gym attending a wrestling session. AOAV also claimed that the second explosion likely targeted journalists and first responders. Hashmat Stanikzai, Kabul police spokesman, said that the second bomb exploded as police were responding to the scene and officers were among the 70 wounded. Samim Faramarz, 28, and Ramiz Ahmadi, 23, of Tolo News, Afghanistan’s largest broadcaster, were killed in the attack. Lotfullah Najafizada, the head of Tolo News, described the reporter and cameraman as “two of our best journalists.” According to Reporters Without Borders, six other journalists were wounded.

In 2018, 12 journalists have died as a result of violence in Afghanistan. This is more than any other country this year according to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. Following this attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated, “An attack on civilians and media workers of the country is an attack on freedom of speech and crime against humanity.”


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By Cecilia D'Arville
Editing by Shrabya Ghimire

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