Monday night’s explosion in Shindand district in Helmand affected mostly children, district officials confirmed.
The rickshaw explosion, which happened at about 4pm, left seven civilians dead – including two children – and 11 others, including eight children, wounded.
The explosion left seven civilians, including two children, dead and 11 others, including eight children, wounded.
District officials said the explosion occurred in Boland Bazar, a local market in Shindand.
Officials said that a number of children affected by the explosion were the bread winners in their families.
Nafisa, the mother of a 10-year-old child who sustained injuries in the blast, said her son was working in a bakery when the explosion happened. He is in critical condition in hospital.
“I was at home when I received a call to inform me about my son who was wounded in the incident. When I arrived there (at the hospital), I saw many people who were searching for their relatives,” Nafisa said.
The blast happened when children were leaving a school in the area.
Eyewitnesses however condemned the incident.
“When I came here, I saw one body in front of the bakery, one inside a shop, one on the road, another on the roadside,” said Nasir, a resident of Shindand.
“Innocent people are killed in suicide attacks, children are killed and women are affected. This is a calamity for us,” said Mohammadullah, a resident of the district.
The three-wheeler motorbike rickshaw in which the explosives were placed, had been in the area for many hours. Suspicious had been aroused and locals called security forces. However, Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel checked the vehicle but found nothing unusual. The same rickshaw exploded a few hours later, the district governor said.
“Technical teams of the national army, the National Directorate of Security office, the police chief and the Public Order Police force members. They worked in collaboration, but they found nothing,” Shindand district governor Shokrulah Shaker said.