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.