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Afghan Police Arrest Dozens For Celebratory Gunfire Following Cricket Victory

FILE: Afghan authorities detained dozens of people for celebrating their national cricket team's victory over Pakistan on May 24

Afghan police have arrested more than 40 people in the capital, Kabul, for celebratory gunfire that followed the Afghan national cricket team’s victory over Pakistan in a warm-up match for the Cricket World Cup on May 24.

“We arrested 43 people in different districts of Kabul who were firing into the air and disrupting the city’s calm last night. We also seized their guns,” Basir Mujahid, a Kabul police spokesman, told RFE/RL on May 25.

Basir said at least two people were “lightly wounded” from stray bullets in Kabul, which began just after the cricket team’s victory at around 9:30 p.m. local time.

Three people were taken to the hospital overnight with gunshot wounds sustained during similar celebrations in the eastern city of Jalalabad, local authorities said on May 25.

Celebratory gunfire is common in Afghanistan to mark sporting successes or other events.

The cricket match between Afghanistan and Pakistan took place in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Lifted by a controlled 74 not out by Hashmatullah Shahidi and a quick-fire 49 from Hazratullah Zazai, the Afghan team chased down Pakistan's total of 262 to win by three wickets in a timely boost before the World Cup starts on May 30.

As the match concluded, thousands of funs rushed into the streets in Kabul, Jalalabad, and elsewhere to celebrate the victory.

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan.

With reporting by and Reuters

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