A wrestling sports club in Kabul was the site of the latest brutal attack in Afghanistan as twin bombings killed at least 20 people last Wednesday, including two journalists, and wounded 70 others.
IS has claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned sports institutions and media that future attacks were to come.
It was again the second attack in last few months after at least eight people were killed and dozens of others wounded in a series of blasts at a cricket match in Nangarhar where ASJF members was also killed.
Very soon after the first blast at the wrestling club in western Kabul, young men in torn wrestling kits were helping the wounded onto vehicles to be taken to hospital, but the first explosion was followed by a car bomb shortly after and killed two journalists and wounded other reporters including other members of the public.
The Maiwand Sports Club and Gym was home to almost 200 athletes were coming to practice wrestling. Well known in Kabul, it was where most Afghan wrestlers trained. In the days of the attack, a competition was going on for local wrestlers.
The athletes that belonged to the club also served as helpers in the community at the same time, assisting during Eid and other special Islamic celebrations.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombings. “An attack on civilians and media workers of the country is an attack on freedom of speech and crime against humanity,” he said in a statement.
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the second explosion hit as police were helping victims and a number of officers were wounded.
A social activist Ajmal Niazi told AIPS Media that it has been a very deadly year in Afghanistan for journalists in Afghanistan and for all Afghans alike.
Two of Afghanistan’s top journalists, who were working for local media, were killed in the second blast at the scene. (Photo: ASJF)
According to ASJF vice president Khoshhlat Taib, in the past year, ASJF member and Azadi Radio Reporter Sabawoon Kakar, ASJF member and cricket tournament Manager Hedayatullah Zaheer were killed and five other sports journalists were wounded, while at least 11 other were killed in the first six months of the year, according to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.
Media and journalists have been suffering since couple of years and they have no safety at all.