At least 45 people were killed and 60 others wounded on Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a crowd watching a volleyball match in the Yahyakhil district of Afghanistan’s southeastern Paktika province, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.
In 2010, a suicide car bomb exploded in the middle of a group of men playing volleyball, a popular sport in the region, in northwest Pakistan. That attack left 30 people dead and 52 wounded.
Sunday’s attack comes the same day the nation’s parliament agreed to allow US and NATO forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
It’s unusual for an attack in Afghanistan to kill so many people.
Only a few comparable incidents come up in the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which tracks acts of terror from 1970 to 2013.
In October 2012, a suicide bomber dressed in a police uniform attacked a mosque in the city of Maymana in Faryab province, according to the database. At least 42 people, including 19 members of the Afghan security forces, were killed and another 50 people injured in that blast. No group claimed responsibility for the incident, but sources attributed it to the Taliban.
In April 2013, nine attackers dressed as soldiers killed 53 people at a courthouse complex where several Taliban members were standing trial in the city of Farah.
At least one suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the entrance to the complex, while the other attackers entered other buildings and began shooting and throwing grenades. About 93 additional people were wounded. All of the attackers died, Global Terrorism Database reports.
The Taliban said it was behind the carnage.