Blast outside sports stadium packed with onlookers kills at least 14 Afghans

Afghan men carry a wounded man into a hospital following a car bomb in Lashkar Gah the capital of Helmand province on March 23, 2018. (AFP / NOOR MOHAMMAD)
Updated 23 March 2018

Blast outside sports stadium packed with onlookers kills at least 14 Afghans

KABUL: A major explosion at an entrance of a sports stadium, packed with hundreds of Afghans, killed 14 people on Friday in the southern city of Lashkargah, officials said.
They could not immediately say what caused the blast, some suspected it was triggered by a car bomb.
Hundreds of locals had gathered to watch a wrestling match when the explosion went off in the evening local time, officials and locals said.
A spokesman for Helmand’s governor, Omar Zwak said 14 people had lost their lives and over 40 were wounded.
“It was a heart-wrenching event, with people shouting and yelling as it took a while for the ambulance to arrive to the scene,” Ahmad Shah an eyewitness said by phone from Lashkargah, the provincial capital of Helmand, which is part of the Taliban’s stronghold.
Images on several TV stations showed a giant flame and plume of smoke rising from outside the stadium where some local officials were amongst the onlookers, residents said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack which came a day after the killing of 33 civilians in a suicide attack in Kabul where people celebrated Naw Rouz, the first day of the country’s new year.
Most of the victims in Kabul’s attack, claimed by Daesh, were Shias.
President Ashraf Ghani in a statement condemned the attack, adding “terrorists” can deter Afghans from marking their religious and national events.
The attack in Lashkargah came just as Afghans elsewhere celebrated a rare historical flash news over the country’s cricket players winning a game abroad, allowing them to contest for the first time in an international cricket match set for next year.
“The violence is non-stop here. We can not even enjoy our victories and events,” Fazl Ahmad a Kabul resident told the Arab News.
“How long do we have to suffer like this? What is the responsibility of the government and the foreign troops here?” he asked.


South Korea’s Daegu city reports zero new coronavirus cases

Updated 5 min 7 sec ago

South Korea’s Daegu city reports zero new coronavirus cases

  • Daegu accounts for more than half of all South Korea’s 10,450 infections

SEOUL: The South Korean city of Daegu, which endured the first large coronavirus outbreak outside of China, on Friday reported zero new cases for the first time since late February, as new infections across the country dropped to record lows.
With at least 6,807 confirmed cases, Daegu accounts for more than half of all South Korea’s 10,450 infections.
South Korea on Friday reported 27 new cases as of the night before, a new low since daily cases peaked at more than 900 in late February, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The death toll also rose by four to 208, the KCDC said.
The spread of infections at a church in Daegu drove a massive spike in cases in South Korea beginning in late February.
The outbreak initially pushed the tally of confirmed cases much higher than anywhere else outside of China, before the country used widespread testing and social distancing measures to bring the numbers down.