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Killing sports players in Afghanistan?

January 26, 2014

Summary: A possible new trend in the killing of sports players in Afghanistan?

Photos of Afghan maps 006No sooner are the words “new trend” scribbled or uttered in the context of violence in Afghanistan, then they are either immediately disproved or nothing else happens for months.  I saw this report and wondered what it might mean:

Khaama Press, Sun Jan 26 2014: Unknown gunmen shot dead two young men while they were returning from a sports complex in north-eastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.  According to local security officials in Takhar province, the two young men were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Cha’ab district.  Santullah Temori, spokesman for the provincial police commandment, confirming the report, said Afghan security forces have launched investigations to arrest those involved behind the incident.  This comes as militants carried out at least two attacks on young men who were busy with the sports games in southern and eastern Afghanistan.   At least three young men who were playing football were killed after militants attacked a football ground in Maiwand district of Kandahar province earlier last week.   Gunmen also assassinated five young men in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan while they were playing volleyball.   The incident in Laghman province took place on Thursday in Alingar district, after a group of unknown gunmen opened fire on the boys in the playground.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incidents.

No idea on this one – a coincidence of incidents?  Otherwise, the Taliban had a reputation for banning all manner of sports inside Afghanistan during the 1990s (kite flying being the obvious one).  A trend might suggest some confident assertion of extreme Taliban-style values?  One to watch…?

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