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  Updated: December 12, 2011

Toll from Afghan Ashoura attacks on Hussaini mourners now 80

By: Sheikh M Khurasani

KABUL, Afghanistan: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday that the death toll from last week's Ashoura attacks on Hussaini mourners in Afghanistan has risen to at least 80.

The earlier casualty toll was 56 martyred and more than 160 wounded in Kabul, and four martyred in Mazar-i-Sharif.

In Kabul, the bomb went off shortly before noon as bare-chested men were beating and cutting themselves with knives and chains to mourn the unjust slaughter in 680 A.D of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S). They had gathered at the Abul Fazl shrine with a blue minaret to mark the holiday called Ashoura.

Black and gray smoke spiraled skyward from the bomb site after the blast. Lifeless bodies were lying on top of one another. Survivors with blood-smeared faces cried for help.

"It was a very powerful blast," said Mahood Khan, who is in charge of the shrine. "It was out of control. Everyone was crying, shouting. It is a disaster."

At roughly the same time in Mazar-i-Sharif, 185 miles (300 kilometers) to the north, where there is a shrine of Imam Ali (AS) exists, four other Hussaini mourners were martyred and 21 were wounded when a bomb strapped to a bicycle exploded as a convoy of the mourners was driving down a road, said Sakhi Kargar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.


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