© Getty Images (Representation photo)
The incident happened in Zurmat district © Getty Images (Representation photo)

At least two people were killed and six others injured when armed assailants attacked a cricket match venue in south-eastern Afghanistan, an official told Efe news agency on Friday. Twenty-seven spectators, mostly minors, were kidnapped by the assailants, the official said.

The assailants, believed to be insurgents, opened fire at a sports ground in Paktia province’s Zurmat district while a cricket match was underway there on Thursday afternoon, said provincial Deputy Governor Abdul Wali Sahi. Two players, including an off-duty policeman, were killed in the shooting, while four other men and two women were wounded and required hospital treatment.

While fleeing, the attackers took 27 hostages from among the spectators — of whom 24 were minors, Sahi said. “We worked until midnight to rescue the children, but we had to abandon operations because of the darkness,” General Dastageer Rustamyar, Paktia’s security head, told Efe.

He added that the operations were resumed on Friday and that the Afghan security forces had cornered the insurgents in the mountains, making it impossible for the attackers to relocate with the hostages into forest areas. Both officials held the Taliban responsible for the attack, but no group has yet claimed responsibility.