x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Afghan blast kills 14 children

Suicide car bombing in Khost province kills 20 Afghans, 14 of whom were children.

Smoke billows from a suicide attack in Khost province, which killed 20 Afghans including 14 children.
Smoke billows from a suicide attack in Khost province, which killed 20 Afghans including 14 children.

Fourteen children were among 20 Afghans killed in new extremist attacks in insurgency-hit Afghanistan that also left two Canadian soldiers dead, security officials said. The children and two adults died in a powerful suicide car bombing in the eastern province of Khost, said the Nato-led force, which has troops across the country to fight the insurgents. The attacker blew up a bomb-filled car outside local government offices in the district of Ismail Khail, also known as Mando Zayi, as local leaders were discussing security and elections due next year, police said.

"In the process he killed 16 Afghans and wounded 58 others," Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. "Fourteen children were among those killed, and one was an Afghan National Army soldier." The blast was near a school where pupils were receiving their exam results and end-of-year education certificates, police said. District governor Dawlat Khan Qayomi, who had been hosting the meeting with tribal elders, said: "The blast was so powerful that some of the casualties were turned into pieces."

He blamed the attack on Taliban insurgents who have been behind a wave of suicide bombings in Afghanistan. Provincial health director Amir Badsha Rahmatzai said 50 wounded were in the public hospital. "Thirteen of them are children, 12 are government soldiers and three are in critical condition," he said. One of the other wounded taken to an ISAF hospital had died, he said. The blast was condemned by President Hamid Karzai and the United Nations.

It showed that the "enemies of Afghanistan" are "not aware of the Islamic teachings which outlaw the killing of innocent people," Mr Karzai said. *AFP