One of Wednesday night’s victims, in the initial explosion inside the Maiwand Gym, in Qala-e-Nazer, in Dasht-e-Barchi, was Husain Ali Karimi – a wrestling coach.
Forty-year-old Karimi had been a coach at the gym for five years and had been the only breadwinner in his seven-member family.
At least 21 people were killed in the double-bombing. The first explosion happened just after 6pm when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the gym.
About an hour later a second bomb was detonated – this time killing first responders and two TOLOnews journalists.
The Maiwand Gym explosion was followed an hour later by a second blast close to the gym. In total at least 21 people were killed and dozens more wounded.
Among those killed in the first explosion were Karimi and another member of the gym, Ehsanullah.
Dasht-e-Barchi has come under a number of attacks in recent months and residents in the area say something has to be done.
According to Karimi’s family, the area was once safe, but this has changed. In less than a month two serious incidents have claimed the lives of over 50 people in the area.
Karimi’s family said the security issue of Kabul residents needs to be addressed urgently.
“It was around 5:30 or 6pm when we heard an explosion. I called him (Karimi) but his phone was off. Finally, I arrived at the attack scene. I saw everyone was covered in blood and Husain Ali had been martyred,” said the deceased’s cousin Ali Husain Karimi.
Milad, Karimi’s 10-year-old son, said he now faces an uncertain future after losing his father.
“I could not go to the gym that day because I was feeling sick. I was at home when I heard the explosion and then found out that my father was martyred,” Milad said.
“A boy told police that a Corolla vehicle standing in the area was suspicious but soldiers did not pay attention to that and said the car had been searched.
A few minutes later, the explosion happened,” said Ahmad Ali, Karimi’s uncle.
Kabul residents lashed out at government for failing to ensure their safety.
“No one was there (at the attack scene), neither from police headquarters nor from the NDS. Only local residents were there,” said a resident of Kabul.
“Government should ensure the safety of its citizens. This (bloodshed) should stop,” said a resident of Kabul.
Ehsanullah, a member of the gym, who lost his life in the attack, was newly married and was the only breadwinner in his family.
The victim had been in his final year at a private college where he was studying business administration. He had been a member of the wrestling club for the past two years.
Maiwand wrestling club was founded in 2008 in Kabul and has to date trained many athletes who have taken part in national events.
Officials have not given an exact figure about the number of wrestlers killed in the bombing.
The attack also claimed the lives of two TOLOnews journalists. Three other journalists sustained injuries and one was in critical condition, according to sources.
Kabul police said an investigation has been launched into the incident.