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Dozens Killed At Afghan Volleyball Match

Officials say at least 50 people were killed in the blast in Paktika province.

Last updated on November 23, 2014, at 10:52 a.m. ET

Posted on November 23, 2014, at 10:52 a.m. ET

A suicide bomber attacked a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan Sunday, killing at least 50 people.

Mokhis Afghan, spokesman for the provincial governor of Paktika, told the Associated Press that the attack happened in the late afternoon as a large crowd gathered to watch a volleyball tournament in Yahyakhail district.Another spokesman, Mukhles Afghan, told Reuters that more than 50 people were wounded in the blast.The bomber is said to have walked into the dense crowd and detonated his explosive vest.Most of the casualties are said to be civilians.No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban has previously carried out bombings in Paktika province.In a statement, the head of the International Olympic Commitee, Thomas Bach, condemned the attack as "cowardly.""It is an attack on sport itself and on the positive values it can bring to help build strong communities and foster peace and reconciliation around the world," Bach said. Details remain scarce because of the remoteness of the location.
Google/David Mack

Mokhis Afghan, spokesman for the provincial governor of Paktika, told the Associated Press that the attack happened in the late afternoon as a large crowd gathered to watch a volleyball tournament in Yahyakhail district.

Another spokesman, Mukhles Afghan, told Reuters that more than 50 people were wounded in the blast.

The bomber is said to have walked into the dense crowd and detonated his explosive vest.

Most of the casualties are said to be civilians.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban has previously carried out bombings in Paktika province.

In a statement, the head of the International Olympic Commitee, Thomas Bach, condemned the attack as "cowardly."

"It is an attack on sport itself and on the positive values it can bring to help build strong communities and foster peace and reconciliation around the world," Bach said.

Details remain scarce because of the remoteness of the location.

Photos from local hospitals show children among the injured.

AP Photo

Former BBC journalist in Kabul, Bilal Sarwary, tweeted that hundreds were attending the game when the blast occurred.

#AFG Mahmood Khan tribal elder Yahyakhel,100s were attending game cheering& clapping when explosion took place,now there blood& dead bodies

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG Mahmood Khan tribal elder Yahyakhel,100s were attending game cheering& clapping when explosion took place,now there blood& dead bodies

9:38 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AFG A security official Yahyakhel district,attacker used potent explosives&ball bearings -this attack was planned 2kill a lot of civilians

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG A security official Yahyakhel district,attacker used potent explosives&ball bearings -this attack was planned 2kill a lot of civilians

9:53 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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#AFG A Docter in Paktika, most of those who died lost blood, had head&chest injuries. Most of the children who were killed had head injuries

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG A Docter in Paktika, most of those who died lost blood, had head&chest injuries. Most of the children who were killed had head injuries

9:41 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AFG A security official in Paktika's Yahyakhel district, attack was carried by a suicide attacker who got into game posing as a spectator.

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG A security official in Paktika's Yahyakhel district, attack was carried by a suicide attacker who got into game posing as a spectator.

9:43 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AFG Haji Ajab Gul Sulaimankhel, every family in my village lost someone. We went 2 a volleyball game. Now we are digging graves.

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG Haji Ajab Gul Sulaimankhel, every family in my village lost someone. We went 2 a volleyball game. Now we are digging graves.

9:47 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AFG Yahyahkhel in Paktika province is a strong hold of the Pakistan based Haqqani network. They carried a similar deadly attack last year.

Bilal Sarwary@bsarwaryFollow

#AFG Yahyahkhel in Paktika province is a strong hold of the Pakistan based Haqqani network. They carried a similar deadly attack last year.

9:51 AM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This is developing story. Check back for updates.

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