By Farhad Naibkhel
KABUL: Multiple back to back blasts ripped through a crowd of civilians and security officials in Lashkargah, the capital city of Helmand province on Saturday, killing three people, including Provincial Economic Head Mohammad Khan Nasrat, and wounded 31 others during a spring festival.
The blasts that has been claimed by Taliban group, occurred in sport stadium, while people and officials gathered to celebrate Farmers’ Day and also celebrate spring season in Lashkargah city, official said.
“Two explosions took place inside a sport stadium at around 10:00am local time, where based on initial reports, three people embraced martyrdom and 31 others wounded,” Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Nasrat Rahimi told Afghanistan Times.
“Will share more details soon once all sides of the attack probed.”
Provincial Council Head Attaullah Afghan confirmed the blasts, saying three blasts took place inside the stadium when people and officials celebrating Farmer’s Day and visiting the booths of Afghan products.
According to him, it was a mine blasts that have caused casualty to many participants, confirming 20 injures, while had no information about death.
The victim people were farmers and ordinary Afghans who came to see the agriculture exhibition and buy the products, he said, adding children were also received injures in the terror attack.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by Provincial Governor Office has confirmed three people killed and 31 others wounded and brushed aside rumors regarding governor’s Yaseen Khan injures in the blasts.
“Helmand Governor Yaseen Khan is survived the attack, and he is safe and sound,” said the statement.
But his Deputy for Administration and Financial Affairs Mujahedulah Safaari, Provincial Council Deputy Ebadullah Alizai, Provincial Head of Culture and Information Hameedullah Weyar, Provincial Agriculture Head Zalmai Alko and his Deputy Rafiullah were among those wounded, the statement said, adding they immediately shifted to hospital with report of their health in good conditions.
Helmand Governor has strongly condemned the attack, terming it a coward and atrocity act by the Afghan enemies.
Presidential Place also condemned the attack in strongest possible term that martyred and wounded number of compatriots.
“Terrorists are enemy of gladness and future development of the country. In order to create fear among people they always attack civil institutions, ceremonies, events and public areas and hide their failure in battle ground by conducting such attack,” the statement added.
President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the terrorist attack, expressing his condolences with the victim’s families, the statement furthered.
However, the Taliban Spokesman in a statement through Telegram claimed responsibility for the attack. This comes as Taliban members recently ended fifth rounds of talks with US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalamy Khalilzad in Qatar, where they reached agreements on draft in four issues—counterterrorism efforts, not using Afghan soils against any other country, troops withdrawal, and intra-Afghan talks.