A Vigil for Nepalese Killed in Afghanistan

  • A vigil was held on June 25 at Diversity Plaza to honor the Nepalese who died at the hands of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. (Photos by Dipika Shrestha for Voices of NY)

A candlelight vigil was held at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Queens, on June 25, 2016 to remember the victims of the deadly Kabul attack that killed 15 people last week.

Twelve Nepalese and two Indians were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the capital city of Afghanistan on June 20, and one more Nepalese succumbed to his injuries on June 22.

The deceased worked as security guards at the Canadian embassy in Kabul and the minibus carrying them was attacked by a bomber wearing an explosive belt.

The Non-Resident Nepali National Coordination Council of USA organized the vigil, where more than 50 people gathered together to commemorate the deceased. Tilak Shrestha, the secretary general of the organization, said, “We are very sad to hear this news. I don’t know what to say.”

Krishna Kumar Subedi, consul general of Nepal in New York, also expressed his grief. He said, “Actually, we were shocked when we heard about the terrorist attack. We have no words to express our grief.”

Following the incident, the Nepalese government has banned its citizens from working in Afghanistan. It has also continued its earlier ban regarding three other war-torn countries: Syria, Libya and Iraq.

In addition, the government has decided to compensate the bereaved families with 1 million rupees, which is roughly $10,000, each.

Edwin Sosa, 54, who lives in Harlem, was one of the few non-Nepalese attending the vigil. Sosa, who is married to a Nepalese woman, Laxmi Shrestha, said, “It’s unbelievable. It has to come to an end already. These are innocent people whose families now are completely suffering from their deaths. It must come to an end.”

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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