Afghanistan: Theatre performance attacked by suicide bomber

13 December 2014


On 11 December 2014 a 17-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up inside a school auditorium in Kabul where a theatre play condemning suicide bombing, ‘Heartbeat: Silence After the Explosion’, was being presented by students of Kabul University’s Cinema and Theatre Department of Fine Art Faculty

Several persons were killed by the bomb blast which came about 20 minutes into the performance. About 500 people were in the auditorium of Isteqlal High School, which is attached to the French Cultural Centre.

Musicologist Dr Ahmad Naser Sarmast and professor Hussainzadah, head of the university theatre department, were amongst the wounded. Dr Sarmast was hospitalised, injured on the head with temporary damaged hearing. Also a journalist, a cameraman, and 10-15 students and spectators were wounded and rushed to hospital.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the bombing in an email statement sent to media. He said the theatre show was “desecrating Islamic values” and “propaganda against jihad”, particularly suicide attacks.

The French president Francois Hollande condemned the bombing and said it was an assault on “culture and creativity”.

“The art and culture has been targeted. I’m feeling so hopeless, hurt…” a music teacher from Kabul told Freemuse.

Some sources indicated that Dr Sarmast was the target of the attack in the theatre. He is known for his work with bringing music back onto the streets of Kabul after the Taliban banned it.

» SBS – 12 December 2014:
Australian wounded in Kabul attack (Video)

» BBC – 11 December 2014:
Kabul suicide bomber attacks French school during show

» The Guardian – 11 December 2014:
German citizen killed in suicide bomb attack at Kabul high school

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