Four Skateistan kids killed by bomb
On Monday, Skateistan confirmed that four young people involved in their non-profit organization’s skateboarding programs in Kabul, Afghanistan, were among those killed in a suicide bombing at NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul on Saturday.
The ISAF released the following statement about the attack:
“The International Security Assistance Force condemns [Saturday]’s suicide attack in Kabul, which killed several innocent Afghan civilians. According to reports from Afghan security officials, who immediately arrived on scene to secure the area, the suicide attacker today was a teenaged youth. Attacks like these exploit vulnerable individuals, coercing them into committing horrible acts. Initial casualty reports indicate only Afghan civilians suffered injuries or died from the explosion.”
A Skateistan statement continued, “We are very sad to learn that of the six young children confirmed to have passed away, four of them were students, volunteers and youth leaders at Skateistan, who were well-loved and well-known faces for the entire team in Kabul.”
According to Skateistan, the dead include Nawab, 17, a volunteer instructor and one of the original Skateistan participants (and the winner of the 2012 Go Skateboarding Day competition on June 21 at Skateistan’s indoor skatepark facility); Mohammad Eeza, 13, another of the original Skateistan participants; Khorshid, 14, a female skate teacher; Khorshid’s youngest sister, Parwana, 8, a new recruit (approximately 40 percent of Skateistan participants are female, according to the organization); and Assad, the cousin of Khorshid and Parwana. Another Skateistan volunteer named Navid, 14, was seriously injured by shrapnel from the blast.
Skateistan was founded in 2007 by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kabul, and has since grown into an international organization with headquarters in Berlin and development aid programs for youth in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Pakistan.
A book about the organization and its programs titled “Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan” was published in June, and director Orlando Von Einsiedel’s documentary film “Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul” was released in 2011 (see video below).
Skateistan has established an emergency fund at Crowdrise.com in memory of the victims.