A grenade blast during a match at Afghanistan’s main cricket stadium wounded four spectators and briefly halted the game on Friday, officials and police said. The explosion happened at a match between Pamir Zalmi and Band-e-Amir Dragons in the country’s domestic T20 league, held at the Kabul International Cricket Stadium.
Hundreds of people were at the match on Friday, the weekly holiday in Afghanistan. Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said the blast was caused by a grenade, adding that the game was halted for a few minutes.
It injured four spectators, said the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s chief executive Naseeb Khan. “The players, staff members and foreigners are all safe,” he said on Twitter, without offering details.
A top United Nations official, Ramiz Alakbarov, who was present at the stadium condemned the “atrocious attack,” a UN statement said.
“Today’s blast is yet another harrowing reminder of the terrifying and sudden violence that the population in Afghanistan continues to be exposed to,” Alakbarov, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, said in a statement.
While levels of violence in Afghanistan have fallen since the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August last year, the jihadist Islamic State group has carried out several bombings and gun attacks in recent months.
This year’s edition of the Shpageeza Cricket League — its eighth season — is the first such tournament since the Taliban seized power. Its eight teams have many players from the country’s national team. Cricket is a popular game in Afghanistan, with many of its players gaining international recognition.