Grenade attack on Afghan wedding injures 20, including children

Grenade attack on Afghan wedding injures 20, including children
Armed men stormed into the village in the district of Ali She, to carry out a grenade attack on guests who were attending a wedding ceremony.
2 min read
26 January, 2020
Guests, including children, were rushed to hospital for emergency treatment following the attack [Getty]
At least 20 people were injured on Saturday evening when unidentified individuals hurled hand grenades into a wedding ceremony, local officials in the eastern Afghan province of Khost said. 

Guests, including children, were rushed to hospital for emergency treatment following the attack. One child, who sustained severe injuries, remains in a critical condition.

Armed assailants descended on the village of Waris, in the district of Ali Sher, late in the evening, where a wedding ceremony was held to carry out there attack, before fleeing, according to ABNA news agency.

Adil Haydar, a spokesman for pronvincial police force, confirmed an investigation into the attack was ongoing and that it was not clear whether the perpetrators were affiliated with any insurgent groups.

The Taliban, who hold sway over half of Afghanistan, maintain a strong presence in Khost, which borders Pakistan. 

Haidar cited the Taliban's ban on music during the period of their rule of the country as potentially indicating their complicity in Saturday's attack, while not downplaying personal or tribal vendattas as another possible motive.  

Attacks on wedding ceremonies are not unheard of in Afghanistan.

Last August, a suicide bomber from the Islamic State affiliate detonated his vest at a wedding in Kabul, killing 63 and inuring 182, the deadliest attack in the capital in 2019.

Read more: Islamic State claims responsibillity for 'barbaric' suicide attack on Afghanistan wedding that killed scores

The Taliban, who are fighting an internal war against the IS affiliate, deplored August's attack as "forbidden and unjustifiable". 

The Taliban themselves continue to stage near-daily attacks on US and Afghan forces and assets. While civillians are not directly targetted, scores die in the crossfire. 

On Saturday, a bystander was killed and four others wounded in the Afghan capital when a police vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED), Persian-language Radio Farda report.

The vehicle was destroyed in the blast, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi.

The Taliban and the US are currently holding peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar, which hosts the Taliban's political office.

Read more: 'Optimistic' Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month: report

Negotiations are hindered over a mechanism that could either end or give rise to a significant de-escalation of hostillities.

US troops could be brought home after 18 years of war, if a reduction in violence is followed by a joint US-Taliban peace agreement.

The deal could also mark the begining of negotiations between Afghanistan's warring factions, to try to map out the future of Afghanistan's political landscape. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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