Two Afghan journalists among 20 dead in Kabul blasts

An injured man is brought in to a hospital following a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Twin bombings at a wrestling training center in a Shiite neighborhood of Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday killed at least 20 people and wounded others, Afghan officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Updated 06 September 2018
0

Two Afghan journalists among 20 dead in Kabul blasts

KABUL: Twin blasts in the Afghan capital killed at least 20 people, including two local journalists on Wednesday, officials and journalists reported.

The first attack was conducted by a suicide bomber and targeted a wrestling gym in an area of Dashte Barchi, a Shia-dominated part of the city where spectators had converged to watch a competition.

Most of the casualties were caused in that attack, interior ministry officials said.

Nasrat Rahimi, a ministry spokesman, said that more than 70 people were wounded in the first event.

As officials and residents dealt with the evacuation of casualties, a car bomb went off a little distance way, killing two journalists and wounding five more, Mujib Khelwatgar, an official with a media group, told reporters.

The private Tolo News said that the two dead journalists belonged to its station.

Wednesday’s attacks resembled one conducted months ago outside an intelligence agency in Kabul where journalists covering the first attack fell victim to the second blast. Eight journalists were killed.

In Wednesday’s first attack, the bomber shot dead a guard at the gym before entering the facility where scores of spectators had gathered to watch a match, Rahimi said.

The attacks come weeks after a suicide bomber targeted an educational center, killing nearly 50 underage students. Affiliates of Daesh have claimed responsibility for all of the attacks, which have targeted Shiites in recent years in Afghanistan.


At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

Updated 7 min 48 sec ago
0

At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

  • A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation
  • Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 161 people have been killed in a northeastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, local officials said on Monday, in an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.
A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation, although the exact identity of the assailants remains murky.
Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.
Tit-for-tat attacks between the two groups in late 2017 and early 2018 killed hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes, but a tenuous calm had taken hold until this month.
Pascal Kakoraki Baguma, a national lawmaker from Ituri, said the latest violence was sparked by the killing last Monday of four Lendu businesspeople.
“Members of the Lendu community believed that these assassinations were the work of the Hema,” Kakoraki said. “This is why they launched several attacks on Hema villages.”
“Sources affirm that 161 bodies have been found so far. But the death toll goes beyond the bodies recovered, as there were other massacres of civilians and police officers,” he said.
Jean Bosco Lalo, president of civil society organizations in Ituri, said 200 bodies had been found since last week in predominantly Hema villages, including the 161 mentioned by Kakoraki. Lalo said the toll would rise once his teams gained access to other villages where killings had been reported.
Ituri Governor Jean Bamanisa said provincial authorities were still working to establish the exact death toll and declined to say who was responsible.
He said the assailants’ tactics were to “empty out the villages, burn them and pursue those who had fled to the surrounding areas with bladed weapons.”
Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, who took office in January, is trying to restore stability to the country’s eastern borderlands, a tinderbox of conflict among armed groups over ethnicity, natural resources and political power.
Several rebel leaders have surrendered or been captured during his first months in office, but armed violence has persisted, particularly in North Kivu province, south of Ituri, which is the epicenter of a 10-month Ebola outbreak.