By: Katherine Hewitt
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
KABUL, Afghanistan – On the evening of March 23, 2018, a suicide bomber drove into a crowd. A traditional wrestling match had been held that night in Lashkar Gah. After the match ended, the spectators joined in evening prayers in the stadium before leaving. The bomber drove his car though the gates, where it exploded.
As a result fourteen were killed. Forty-two were left injured. Some of the dead and injured are security guards who were stationed at the gates. However, the majority of the victims are civilians. Children are among the dead and critically wounded. The local hospital believes the death will rise, as many people are in critical condition.
The bomber had attempted to enter the stadium. However, the security guards recognized him and refused to let him enter. It was at this moment that he detonated the bombs.
At this moment, no group has claimed the attack as part of their operation. The Helmand province, where Lashkar Gah is located, has heavy Taliban influences. The Taliban carried out a similar attack in Lashkar Gah in the past.
The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, released a statement that condemned the bombing saying: “the enemies of Afghanistan cannot prevent the celebration of traditional, religious and cultural events in the country.”
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Author: Katherine Hewitt
Katherine Hewitt is a first year Masters of Arts in International Affairs candidate in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is pursuing a concentration in Peace, Security, and Conflict. Her interests lie in ethnic conflicts, particularly in the Post-Soviet Sphere. She expects to graduate in December 2018.