A terrorist attack, possibly the work of Islamic State, has killed 19 spectators at a professional cricket match in the Afghan capital Kabul.
According to media reports, the blast, which has been variously attributed to a grenade or a suicide bomber’s explosive vest, happened during a Shpageeza Premier League T20 match between Band-e-Amir Dragons and Pamir.
The information was provided by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“The Secretary General condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack on the Kabul International Cricket Stadium Afghanistanwhich claimed the lives of at least 19 civilians and caused more casualties,” Haq said.
Guterres “sends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. He reiterates that attacks on civilians and civilian objects are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Haq said.
Cricket is very popular in Afghanistan and sporting events often take place on Friday, the Muslim holiday.
The Taliban banned the game as a violation of Islamic law during their first stint under control of the war-torn country, but they now allow the sport — although fundamentalists still see it as a sin.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but most terrorist attacks have been carried out in Afghanistan Since the Taliban took control of the country last August, they have been the work of the Afghan branch of Islamic State.