Suicide blast kills 40 at volleyball match in Afghanistan

KABUL: A suicide bomber attacked spectators at a crowded volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 40 people, a provincial official said.

Mukhles Afghan, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province, said at least 50 more were wounded in the attack in Yahya Khel district, where residents had gathered to watch a tournament final.

He said most of the casualties were civilians. The Taliban insurgency and other jihadist militants have unleashed waves of suicide attacks and assassinations in Afghanistan this year, as foreign forces continue to withdraw after 13 years of war.

About 12,000 international troops will remain in Afghanistan next year to train and support Afghanistan´s security forces.