bomb attack
[Representational image] A survivor mourns after a bomb attackReuters

As many as 10 people were killed and around 50 injured, many of them children, in a suspected suicide attack that took place during a cricket match in Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika province on Sunday.

The attack took place after explosives planted on a motorcycle detonated near a volleyball field.

"The enemy had placed explosives on a motorbike and detonated it on the edge of the volleyball playground," said Zarawar Zahid, the police chief of Paktika province.

Zahid put the death toll at 10.

Earlier, the AFP had reported quoting an interior ministry spokesman that nine people were killed in the incident.

"At around 6.20pm this [Sunday] evening an explosion happened in a volleyball field in Khairkot district of Paktika province. Initial information shows nine people, all of them civilians, have been killed," Sediq Sediqqi, an interior ministry spokesman, told AFP.

As the Taliban reportedly denied its involvement in the attack, the blame shifts to the dreaded Haqqani network, which is a hardline terrorist group having alleged links with the Taliban. More so as the attack took place in the volatile Paktika province, which borders Pakistan.

"It is like a bloodbath here, many people are lying dead or wounded," Aref, a witness, told the AFP.

The authorities had initially said that the blast took place during a football match, but it was later confirmed by the interior ministry that it was a cricket match.

Cricket has remained one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan, with its national team participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time in history earlier this year.

This is the second such incident in a year in the region. In November 2014 57 people were killed when a suicide blast ripped through a crowd during a volleyball game in the province.

Volleyball was banned by the Taliban during its rule in Afghanistan from 1996 through 2001. However, the Taliban regime was ousted by the US-led coalition in 2001.

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