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Attack On Afghan Cricket Game Kills 9

  • RFE/RL

A suicide attack at a game of cricket in southeast Afghanistan has killed at least nine people and wounded more than 30, Afghan officials said.

The attack took place on September 27 in southeastern Paktika Province, on the border with Pakistan.

The explosion was caused by a motorcycle bomb, local officials said, and probably targeted local government officials watching the match.

A similar attack last year at a volleyball match killed at least 50 people in the same province.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Since the withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan last year, Afghan security forces have been fighting the Taliban with only limited support.

Earlier on September 27, Afghan officials said Islamic State militants attacked checkpoints in Nangarhar Province, killing three police in the group's first attack on security forces in the country.

Provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said another eight police were wounded in the September 27 attack in the Achin district, bordering Pakistan.

He said Afghan air strikes launched after the early morning attack killed 60 IS militants.

A UN report prepared in June and published on September 25, warned that IS was making inroads in Afghanistan, winning over a growing number of sympathizers and recruiting followers in 25 of the country's 34 provinces.

Afghan security forces told UN sanctions monitors that about 10 percent of the Taliban insurgency are IS sympathizers, according to the report by the UN's Al-Qaeda monitoring team.

The extremist group has been trying to establish itself in Afghanistan and challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

Some Taliban insurgents, particularly in the restive eastern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar, have adopted the IS flag to rebrand themselves as a more lethal force as NATO combat troops depart after 14 years of war.


Based on reporting by AP, AFP and dpa
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