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Festive firing linked to key officials; 10 arrested in connection with Friday gunfire

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Afghanistan’s interior ministry on Sunday said that most of the festive gunfire on Friday night to celebrate the winning of Afghan athletes in MMA games came from the quarters and domiciles of high-ranking officials and prominent elders.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of Kabul Police Basir Mujahid said that 10 people were arrested in connection with the unauthorized festive firing on Friday night, and the police is chasing more culprits.

The sky was bright in the face of the night on Friday as hundreds of jubilant people fired their rifles on the sky to cheer the winning of Baz Mohammad Mubariz and Ahmad Wali Hotak against their foreign rivals in MMA competitions in Dubai. Although the firing came to be a gesture of jubilance, it triggered a public fear. People felt terrified instead of feeling proud for a landmark triumph. Afghanistan is war-weary with a boundless history of bullets and artillery maneuverings; despite the wounds inflicted upon people, some still refuse to stay from bullets.

Most of the festive firing was performed in houses of officials and elders, said Minister of Interior Wais Ahmad Barmak. Speaking at a press conference, he said the houses from where firing took place belonged to former and current ministers, directors or parliamentarians.

The festive firing turned several vicinities of Kabul such as Khairkhana, Kart-e-Se, Qambar Square to a horror house.

In regards with illegal weapons in the hands of people, the minister said that machine guns and heavy artilleries had been distributed to some officials in the past years, calling upon all officials and elders to surrender their illegal guns or get them authorized.

The elders and officials must advise their guards not to celebrate any achievement with firing, otherwise they will face legal action, he added. Those who celebrate any occasion in this style cause panic and disorder and “this is a criminal act”. He called on all people to cooperate with police forces under any circumstances in a bid to help them reinforce law and tighten security.

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