Suicide Bomber Kills 68 in Eastern Afghanistan

Suicide bombing targets demonstrators in the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on 11 September 2018 Suicide bombing targets demonstrators in the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on 11 September 2018 Mohammad Anwar Danishya/AP

17 September 2018

An unclaimed suicide bombing attack in eastern Afghanistan killed 68 protestors and wounded 165 others.

On 11 September 2018, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in Nangarhar, an eastern province in Afghanistan. According to a statement issued by Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesperson, the attack killed at least 68 people, which is higher than an earlier death toll estimate of 32.

The attack occurred outside of a police station near the border of Pakistan during a peaceful demonstration. Protestors had gathered from the Achin district and were stationed between Jalalabad and a border crossing point. According to the New York Times, the protestors demanded that local police commander, Bilal Pacha, be dismissed from his position. Protestors accused Pacha of robbery, maintaining a private prison, and involvement in arbitrary killings. Sayed Qayoom, a witness reached by the New York Times said, “The suicide attacker got out of a white car and ran toward the protesters’ tent… He shouted ‘God is great’ and then blew himself up.”

Hours before this suicide attack, three bombs exploded near schools in Jalalabad as reported by Al Jazeera. One of these bombs, which detonated at the entrance of Malika Omaira girls’ school, killed a 14 year old boy and wounded four others.

At this time, neither the Taliban nor any other groups have claimed responsibility for this attack. In Afghanistan, deadly attacks targeting civilians are on the rise. ISIS claimed responsibility for a twin bombing attack at a wrestling club which occurred in the first week of September killing at least 20 people. Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reported that in the first half of 2018, 2,002 civilians have died as a result of explosive violence. In the same period last year, this number was reported to be 1,581, showing an increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan.


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By Cecilia D'Arville
Editing by Shrabya Ghimire

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