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05 December 2023

Heater bomb kills two in Afghan family feud

By Reuters

A woman and her 12-year-old daughter were killed by explosives planted in a heater in their home in northern Afghanistan, in what authorities said on Sunday was the work of a rival family. 

Two teenage daughters and a young son were also wounded in the family feud assault, which happened late on Saturday in the Khan Abad district of Kunduz province.  

"As soon as the family lit (the heater), the explosives went off," district governor Nizamuddin Nashir told Reuters, adding that it was fuelled by "hostility between two rival families". The reason for the feud was not known. 

Blood feuds and bitter disputes between families are common in Afghanistan, and can sometimes last for decades.  

The explosives were placed in the chimney of a wood-burning bukhari, a drum-shaped metal stove typically used by Afghan families to heat their homes in winter.  

A bomb is an unusual weapon to settle a feud, and Afghan villagers would not necessarily have been able to make one several years ago.  

But as the war rolls into its eleventh year, in an atmosphere of increased violence and uncertainty over the future, analysts say more people are stocking up on weapons. 

Foreign forces fighting Taliban-led insurgents are gradually handing control of security over to the Afghan army and police, with foreign combat troops due home by the end of 2014.