Officials said that at least 14 people were killed in central Afghanistan on Tuesday when two bombings hit the historic city of Bamyan, the home of many members of the Shiite Hazara ethnic group.
The massacre put an end to the quiet of this remote town (known for its ancient Buddhist heritage) for many years, avoiding the large-scale attacks that have occurred elsewhere in this war-torn country.
The twin bombing marked the latest big attack in Afghanistan, where violence has surged in recent months even as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting for peace talks in the Qatari capital Doha. “Fourteen people have been killed and 45 more wounded in two (bomb) explosions,” Bamiyan police chief Zabardast Safi told AFP, adding that a traffic policeman was among those killed.
The explosives were placed in two separate locations, Bamiyan police spokesman Reza Yosufi said, adding that two suspects had been arrested. Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed the toll. “We are investigating the deadly explosions in Bamiyan,” he said. “This is an unforgivable crime.” No group immediately claimed the blasts, and the Taliban denied involvement.
The explosions occurred in front of a market and near a hospital in Bamiyan, locals resident Anwar Saadatyar told AFP. “When I reached the market… there was still blood and body parts everywhere. The blast occurred when people were busy shopping,” he said in a phone interview.
At the second site of the blast near the hospital, most of the casualties were university students, Saadatyar said. “I visited the hospital later and saw people crying for their relatives who were killed or wounded in the explosions,” he said. “There were so many wounded people that doctors didn t know who to treat first. I will never forget that scene.”