Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2011
Death toll of suicide bombing on Kabul shrine rises to 80
KABUL, Dec. 11, 2011 (Xinhua) --
The death toll of a suicide bombing on a shrine in Afghan capital of Kabul on Tuesday has risen to 80, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday.
"The death toll of suicide attack against mourners in Kabul on Ashura Day has heightened to 80," Karzai told audience at a meeting to mark international anti-corruption day here.
The bloody attack occurred on Tuesday Dec. 6 when hundreds of mourners had gathered in Abul Fazil-ul-Abbas shrine in Murad Khani, an area some 300 meter away from the Presidential Palace to commemorate the day of Ashura, the martyrdom day of Imam Hussain and his 72 followers who were murdered in Karballa of Iraq in 680 AD.
The last figure released by Afghan Interior Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 55 people including four children and two women were killed and 134 others were injured
It is believed that some of nearly people who seriously injured in the suicide attack have died in the hospitals.
The number of civilian casualties has been soaring in the militancy-plagued Afghanistan as a total of 1,462 Afghan civilians have been killed in the first half of 2011 which indicates, a 15 percent rise in non-combatants' deaths compared with the same period in 2010, according to the United Nations mid-year report released in Kabul on July 14.
Karzai on Sunday oslo vowed to fight administrative corruption in insurgency-hit country.
Afghan gov't blames Taliban for Kabul bombing
by Abdul Haleem
KABUL, Dec. 7, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Afghan Interior Ministry accused Taliban of organizing the suicide attack inside a shrine in the capital city of Kabul on Tuesday that left 55 civilians including women and children dead and injured 134 others.
"Taliban and terrorists once again massacred our innocent countrymen on Tuesday noon," said a statement released by the Interior Ministry late Tuesday night.
According to the statement, a man wearing suicide vest blew himself up inside the shrine of Hazrat Abul Fazal Al-Abas where the faithful Shiite mourners were observing Ashura and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), along with his 72 followers.
Ashura means "ten" in Arabic and is the tenth day of Moharam the first month of the year in Islamic calendar. Imam Hussain along with 72 of his followers including some family members were brutally murdered in Karballa of Iraq in 680 AD and since then both Muslim sects, the Shiite and Sunni commemorate the day to pay respect and homage to Imam Hussain and followers.
Meantime, the Taliban outfit fighting Afghan government has utterly rejected its involvement in the deadly blast.
A statement posted on the armed outfit's website said that targeting civilians was against the code of conduct of the Taliban fighters and condemned killing the civilians in Kabul.
The shocking incident has prompted President Hamid Karzai to cancel his tour from Germany to London and return home, said a statement released by his office on Wednesday.
One more blast had also targeted Ashura mourners in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Ashura day Tuesday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in capital Kabul and northern Mazar-e-Sharif.
Attack on Ashura ceremony was the first time registered in the war-torn Afghanistan.
"The enemies of Islam and the enemies of Afghanistan are behind the terrorist attacks on the day of Ashura. The followers of all religions in Afghanistan have been living in brotherhood and unity throughout history and the terrorist attacks on Ashura day is a conspiracy to undermine the unity of Afghans," Afghan President said in a statement released Tuesday.
Meantime, a Pakistani-based militant group, according to media reports, claimed of responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing in Kabul.
"The militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi has claimed responsibility for the Tuesday's attack on Ashura mourners in Kabul," Tolo television, an Afghan local TV channel, reported in its news bulletin Wednesday.
The attack on mourners in Kabul has drawn wide condemnations at home and abroad.
In addition to Afghan government and different political and religious circles, the U.S. and Iran embassies to Afghanistan also denounced the bloody bombing in Kabul.
The U.S. embassy in a statement released here condemned the terrorist attacks on Ashura and said that the U.S. would continue to stand alongside Afghans in the war on terror, according to Tolo television.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has also condemned the attacks on mourners in Kabul and Mazar-e- Sharif.
"Such illegal and indiscriminate attacks are completely unacceptable and those responsible are fully accountable for the deaths and injuries of civilians caused by such brutal acts," said a statement released by UNAMA on Tuesday.
Millions of faithful Muslims particularly the Shiite sect across the world observe Ashura, a ritual to pay homage to Imam Hussain and his 72 followers who were martyred by despotic ruler Yazid in Karballah of Iraq some 14 centuries ago.
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