Asia

Afghan cricket fan killed by celebratory gunfire

Afghan cricket fans celebrate their team"s victory in the match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe as they watch it on a big screen at a stadium in Jalalabad on January 6, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Fans danced and celebrated in Afghanistan throughout the night

An Afghan teenager has been killed by gunfire in the south of the country as cricket fans celebrated victory over Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Several others were hurt as thousands of fans danced in the streets and fired into the air in cities and towns.

About 20 people have been arrested, police say. The death was reported in the province of Helmand.

Afghanistan's last-gasp win left them 3-2 up at the end of a five-match series.

The victory in the United Arab Emirates cements their place in the top 10 one-day sides in the world.

In a video message to the nation, President Ashraf Ghani asked people not to celebrate the victory with gunfire.

Kabul's police chief and the head of the Afghan cricket board issued similar appeals.

How dangerous is firing a gun into the air?

Image copyright Twitter

"We were resting at night - suddenly we heard frightening firing," the brother of one of the victims said. "There was lots of firing - we wondered whether a coup was taking place.

"One of my brothers was on the third floor, my other brother went upstairs to call him to the ground floor then he was hit in the shoulder."

President Ghani had earlier congratulated the Afghan team, who won by two wickets in the fifth one-day international on Wednesday.

Image copyright Twitter

Gulbadin Naib hit an undefeated 82, a career best, to help secure victory.

His partnership with Rashid Khan yielded 85 runs and was central to Afghanistan's success.

"The partnership with Rashid helped and gave me the energy to carry on," Naib said.

Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai said it was "a phenomenal achievement"

"Afghanistan are known for their ability to bounce back and we showed that today. It's a historic day for us."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Against the odds, Afghanistan's players have surged up world rankings in recent years

Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for the ministry of interior, said warnings had been issued two weeks ago not to fire guns in celebration.

"We are working in all the provinces where firing has taken place and we hope that, with the help of the local people, we will identify those individuals," he said.

Related Topics

More on this story