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Karzai Greets Nation; 6 Hurt in Celebratory Fire

Karzai Greets Nation; 6 Hurt in Celebratory Fire

KABUL – President Hamid Karzai on Saturday congratulated the nation on Afghanistan’s historic victory over a test cricket playing nation Bangladesh in their Asia Cup match, as wild celebrations left six people injured. President Karzai, who watched the game, was happy to see dozens of Afghan spectators in Fatullah waving the national flags as their team won the historic match, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.

Karzai congratulated the nation on the victory and hoped the national side would continue to bring laurels home in the future. After the victory, thousands of people emerged on roads dancing, greeting each other, distributing sweets, waving flags and some firing into the air in Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad. Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 32 runs on Saturday, their first-time victory against a world class cricket team.

“It was an end to the years-long wait,” said Qutratullah, a cricket fan in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, where thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday night to celebrate the victory. “It is the happiest moment in my life,” he said. Salim, an 8-year-old boy, who was running on the road with a national flag in his hand, was unable to give this reporter time to be asked about his feelings. “Afghanistan have won,” the boy said, but did not stop running.

Celebratory firing continued throughout Saturday night in Kabul and Jalalabad, keeping residents up all night, but there were no complaints. However, a doctor at the civil hospital in Jalalabad, said they had been delivered six people injured in celebratory firing. One of the injured was in critical condition, he said.

In Kabul, police clashed with a group of people celebrating the victory in Kota Sangi area. Police hit the celebrating youth with the butts of their guns after they ascended a bridge to dance. “Police did not allow us to celebrate. We are tired of hearing the news about people dying every day in bomb blasts and suicide attacks. It was a time we wanted to forget about the violence,” said Saeed Ahmad, who was among the nearly 200 people the police barred from celebrating. (PAN)

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