At least nine people were killed and 33 others injured in a bombing at a volleyball match in Paktika, a province in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday. Someone attached explosives to a motorcycle near the edge of the playing field and detonated it during the game, killing and injuring civilians, including children. Some reports conflicted as to whether it was a volleyball, cricket or football match being played at the time.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack, but Paktika is thought to be controlled by the Haqqani network, a militant ally of the Taliban, and volleyball was one of the sports outlawed during the Taliban's rule over Afghanistan. The Taliban has reportedly denied responsibility.
"At around 6.20pm this evening an explosion happened in a volleyball field in Khairkot district of Paktika province. Initial information shows nine people, all of them civilians, have been killed," Sediq Sediqqi, interior ministry spokesman, told AFP. Zarawar Zahid, the police chief of Paktika province, put the death toll at 10, with 33 injured including children. A witness, Aref, told AFP: "It is like a bloodbath here, many people are lying dead or wounded."
This latest attack, which came during a relative quiet spell due to the Muslim holiday Eid, occurred nearly a year after upwards of 60 people were killed in a November bombing at a volleyball match in the same province.