October 1, 2022
  • October 1, 2022

Explosions knocked out power to millions in Afghanistan ahead of Eid holiday | News

By on April 30, 2022 0

The outages come ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Millions of people in 11 provinces across Afghanistan faced power outages on Saturday after two electricity pylons exploded just west of the capital Kabul, authorities said.

The power cuts come ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Two pylons in the province of Parwan were bombarded on Friday evening, cutting off electricity to the capital and neighboring provinces.

“Enemies… blew up two electricity pylons with bombs,” Hekmatullah Maiwandi, spokesman for state-owned power company DABS, said in a video statement.

Five teams from the firm were deployed to carry out the repairs, he added.

“The pylons are installed on top of the mountains and our teams are trying to repair them,” Maiwandi said.

Temporary repairs will be made to partially restore power by Saturday evening before a full restoration of the towers can be completed in two weeks, he added.

An explosion on Friday killed at least 10 worshipers after Friday prayers at a mosque in Kabul, with some reporting the death toll as high as 50. Hundreds of worshipers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan and the mosque was packed.

Two explosions within minutes of each other on Thursday killed at least nine people and injured 13 in the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif.

“Nobody is happy during this Eid because so many families are in mourning because of the recent explosions. Now the pylons have also exploded,” Kabul resident Khatera Fakhri told AFP news agency.

“When there is no electricity, we cannot prepare for Eid. Everything is so difficult.

Afghanistan is largely dependent on imported electricity from northern neighbors Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, making power lines across the country a prime target for armed rebels.

Police said two suspects have been arrested for the attacks on the power supply.

Since taking power, the Taliban have faced repeated attacks from the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K).

The group has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks targeting minority Shia and Sufi communities in the past two weeks, killing dozens of civilians.

Many residential buildings and businesses in Kabul, a city of about five million people, started up private generators on Saturday to ensure electricity supplies ahead of Eid celebrations.

During the 20-year war between the Taliban and the former US-backed Afghan government, authorities in Kabul routinely accused armed groups of targeting transmission towers.