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Afghans bury Ashura dead

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 02:24

Dec. 7 - Casualties of the Kabul Ashura shrine attack are buried as Afghans blame Pakistan for the bloodshed. Paul Chapman reports.

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Some carried the bodies of the dead. Others carried pictures of those killed in Afghanistan's worst sectarian violence since the fall of the Taliban. At least 55 people died when a suicide bomber targeted a shrine during the Shi'ite Ashura festival in the Afghan capital. As they buried their dead angry relatives demanded justice. SOUNDBITE: Yazdan Parast, mourner, saying (Dari): "We want our government, the international community and those involved in Afghanistan affairs to find the perpetrator of yesterday's attack. We want to see the real faces of those behind the attack.." The suicide blast at the shrine in old Kabul also wounded another 160 people, some of them critically. Shortly after the blast another four people were killed and 17 wounded in a second bombing in the north. Until now people in Afghanistan had been spared the kind of large-scale sectarian bloodshed seen in Iraq and Pakistan. Some 24 hours after the bloodshed nobody had claimed responsibility. But many in Kabul are laying the blame at Pakistan's door. Politician and political analyst Shukria Barikzai said Afghan's needed to remain united. SOUNDBITE: Shukria Barikzai, political analyst and member of the Afghan parliament, saying (English): "As long as the responsibility goes to Pakistan, one of their extreme religious groups, the Afghan solidarity and unity will remain to defeat (defend) the Afghan nation values, which we keep shoulder by shoulder, with extremely equal respect for our community." Afghan President Hamid Karzai cancelled a planned trip to Britain and came home in the light of the attacks. The bombings came just a day after a conference in the German city of Bonn about the future of Afghanistan. Tuesday's bloodshed is certain to reinforce fears about the ability of the nation's security forces to cope with violence without international help. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Afghans bury Ashura dead

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 02:24