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A septuagenarian who lost her only son to suicide blast


A septuagenarian who lost her only son to suicide blast

Feb 23, 2016 - 15:39

AIBAK (Pajhwok): A mother who lost her only son to a suicide attack in central Samangan province has been suffering from abject poverty and is unable to feed her grandchildren.

Aytash, 73, is living with her widowed daughter-in-law and three little grandchildren in Choghi village of Aibak, the capital of Samangan.

Shah Mahmood, the only son of Aytash, was killed in a suicide attack on July 14, 2012.

The suicide bombing took place at the wedding ceremony of the daughter of Ahmad Khan Samangani, a former member of the Wolesi Jirga, in front of Almas Hall in Aibak city.

The blast killed 30 people including Samangani, government officials and civilians and injured nearly 60 other guests.

No group had taken responsibility for the attack. The dead included Aytash’s son who was the only breadwinner for his family.

The grandmother was sitting on an old carpet with her grandchildren including two little girls and a five-year-old boy outside their home for sun heat because they lacked firewood to heat up their rooms.

She told Pajhwok Afghan News that she immediately left home and went to the hotel where the suicide attack had happened because her son had also been invited to the wedding party.

“People had shifted the dead bodies to hospital, they told me to go home. I did not know whether my son was martyred or not but when I arrived home, I saw my son’s body laying on the yard,” she said.

The mother was continuously shedding tears and complaining about her family’s problems.

Their breakfast included bread and cold water. “This dried bread is donated by our neighbours,” Aytash said.

The orphaned children were disappointedly looking at their grandmother without saying any words. They were patient eating the dried bread because they knew there was nothing more to eat than that.

The family members have no proper clothes to keep them warm in cold winter. Aytash said she was hurt when her grandchildren were deprived of their father.

She said they had no personal house to live in and the current house they were living in belonged to another person. “I have no star in the sky and no mat on the ground. If the owner of this house takes us out, we would have no place to live in,” she added.

Aytash said she did not know how to feed her family because her grandchildren could not work and her daughter-in-law who used to clean dishes at people’s houses could not earn enough.

“My grandchildren collect firewood from outside. Sometimes we bring coal from our neighbours to heat our rooms, some good people of our village also give their zakat to us,” she said.

She said the government was yet to provide her 100,000 afghanis being given to each war victim’s family. She said they had received 15,000 afghanis from relatives of Ahmad Khan Samangani. Aytash asked the government and aid organizations to help them.

When this scribe asked the five-year-old orphaned Ahmad Farid about his father, he said, “My father has martyred.”

Farid did not talk more, but her eight-year-old sister, Naila, said she along with her other sisters was attending the first grade of school. They hoped to become teachers in future.

Not only Aytash’s family, a large number of war victims in Afghanistan are suffering from various problems and are in need of urgent aid.

According to an investigative report prepared by US Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, 100,000 people, including thousands of civilians, have been killed in the Afghanistan war between 2001 and 2014.

Also a UN report said 21,000 civilians have been killed and 37,000 others injured in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2015.