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Suicide Bomb Kills 10 at Afghanistan Dog Fight

Eight civilians and two police officers were killed on Sunday and a dozen more civilians and five police officers were injured when two bombs exploded while a group was gathered for a dog fight in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, according to Al Arabiya News Channel.

Although no one has yet taken credit for the attack, it is believed to have been carried out by the Taliban, which has recently targeted large public gatherings in an effort to maintain control of this area of its heartland. NATO forces and the Afghan government have voiced concern that the Taliban is reacting to increasing military pressure with violent urban terror attacks that have killed over 100 civilians since January.  Many of the victims have been women and children.  

Although outlawed by the Taliban as” un-Islamic,” dog fighting is a popular pastime in southern Afghanistan, where events are usually held on Friday mornings and can attract as many as 1,000 spectators and dog owners with 200 to 300 dogs involved, according to a report in an American underground dog fighting magazine. 

On February 17, 2008, over 80 civilians and 15 members of the police force were killed at a suicide bombing during a dog fight event at this location.

Unlike pit bull fighting in the U.S. and Europe, the common dogs used for fighting in Afghanistan are large Central Asian or Caucasian shepherd dogs (livestock guarding dogs) that resemble a mix of German shepherd and St. Bernard.

In the Afghanistan matches, a dog is declared the winner when it clearly shows its dominance over its opponent and usually before there is serious injury to either dog, according to Hossein Fatemi of United Press International.


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