Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Attacks on Imam Hussein’s Mourners

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Attacks on Imam  Hussein’s Mourners

I do not know what to write and how to write about what I saw with my own eyes in the center of Kabul city, Murrad Khani Area: an incident that ended into slitting of tens of human bodies that blooded the street and caused hundreds of people to scream and shed tears. It has been years that I am writing articles about suicide bombers, explosions, violence, murder and etc, but I have not written anything about my personal experience.

It was the third time that I was present only meters away from the exact location where the explosions took place.

Two of those horrifying incidents which sent electrons into my backbone were in Quetta city, Pakistan, where I used to stay. Being right on the scene is completely a different experience to what a person can watch on televisions, mobile phones and internet from far away. It is not easy for me to explain my personal experience as well as the feelings of eyewitnesses to you. Because it is really difficult to transfer the same or even similar feelings, but I hope to reflect the sounds of families lost their family members.

As I noted that it was the third time I was present right on the scene, but sincerely speaking, I could not avoid shedding tears while seeing bloody and bleeding bodies and children screaming and calling their brothers and fathers by names.

Few years ago, when I was in Quetta city, on the same day, tenth of Moharram, the day when millions of Shiite celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.), in a suicide bombing more than 80 people were killed and more than hundred were injured.

A similar incident took place yesterday here, Afghanistan, which revived the memory of those days. In Murrad Khani area, in front of Abul Fazl Mosque, when the last group of mourners were about to pass the area, a horrible and irritating sound caused people to escape away. Huge numbers of emotional mourners even did not stop mourning (Sina zani); with tearful eyes and bleeding backs kept performing their religious ritual. I returned to help, but I had no idea what to do? There were no emergency centers established though it was clear that mourners might go to coma for the blood they lose during performing religious ritual (Sina Zani). Before the explosion, I was surprised seeing that there were not emergency centers. When the bomb went off, initially people escaped the scene and remaining people, including myself, had no idea what to do with huge number of injured people.

Huge number of people were killed, I could not count exactly how many. And it was difficult to say exactly because several bodies entirely were ripped apart. Injured people were calling for help. When people rushed to save them, they were unable to do so. They were taking them away but there were no health centers nearby and there were no ambulances at all to carry them far away.

People with vehicles were escaping the area, fearing of being beaten by emotional people. Security forces were around but they were also in shock, seeing angry and emotional people around. There were not enough police and army rangers to carry injured people to health centers. Fatalities were high and with only few police vehicles were around, thus, it was hardly possible to take them quickly to health centers and save their lives. Ambulances were not there and weeping sounds of people still resonate in my ears, questioning a police man about why ambulances did not reach? The police man was answering with sympathy that his fellows have called but had no idea why ambulances have not reached the location.

There was a teenage boy who was carried by a person near to the main road. He was looking ok, and his clothe was not blood-spattered much. His eyes were open. When an ANA ambulance reached the area and I helped an army to put him inside the vehicle; I put my hand on his heart, but it was not beating. Definitely, he was death but no one could replace him with injured ones. Another man was carrying a body alone but he was wondering where to take him.

Since there were not an organized groups to deal with such possible contingencies, and there were no tools to carry injured with. As a result, civilians were taking injured people not properly and causing wounds to bleed even more.

There were women searching for their children. When some found their children dead were screaming and beating on their faces. It was difficult to see them and avoid shedding tears. There were a lot horrible scenes, but at last I want to add a short notice.

During past ten years, when Shiites have been able to celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, it was the first suicidal attack on mourners. During past years, all Afghan people celebrated the anniversary jointly and had no problem with one another. The anniversary has not been celebrated by Shiites but also by Sunnis. Though the issue of sectarianism has existed in the country, but ten of Moharram is deemed holy by all sects.

Due to that when bomb went off, people did not have a clash with one other, unlike Pakistan where any incident could end up to following series of sectarian clashes. It is highly possible that masterminds behind the incidents that shook Kabul, Mazar Sharif, and Kandahar, aimed to stoke sectarianism. But seemingly, Afghan people are well-aware of such plots and remained calm after losing more than hundred people.

Thus, it is expected from Afghan people to understand the true aims of such inhuman and brutal attacks and do not fall prey set by the enemies. Religious scholars and political parties have greater responsibilities to make people aware and do not let enemies to push the country towards sectarianism.

Jawad Rahmani is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at jawad_rahmani2001@yahoo.com

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