Five Afghan cricket players killed by suspected Taliban gunman

Authorities say the gunman rode on a motorbike and shot the group of men

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The Independent Online

A gunman shot and killed five cricket players in Laghman province, Afghanistan, on Thursday.

The Afghan authorities have said that the man on a motorcycle opened fire at the group of local cricketers in Alinghar distrcit while they were playing a game.

A provincial spokesman, Sarhadii Zhouak, said the attacker then fled the scene.

No one has yet come forward to claim responsibility for the killings.

Zhouak speculated that the Taliban may be behind the incident, as when the group ruled the country they imposed severe restrictions on sports and public celebrations.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has released a statement to condemn the shooting.

The attack came after it was confirmed that police found the body of the dead journalist Noor Ahmad Noori, who worked for the local Radio Busd, in the southern province of Helmand on Thursday.

Government spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed the news, and said that 30-year-old Nouri had been abducted earlier that day.


Concerns were raised in late January around the stability of the country, after a Taliban suicide attack at a popular restaurant in Kabul killed 21 people.

Former US Commander General Stanley McChrystal warned that Afghanistan is in danger of slipping into civil war if it does not continue to receive support from NATO forces, when the majority of international troops are withdrawn this year.

Additional reporting by PA

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