Afghanistan bans toy guns

2015-07-22 18:05


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Kabul - Afghanistan has banned the use and sale of toy guns, an official said on Wednesday, after at least 116 children suffered injuries in the capital during the recent three-day Eid festival.

The accidents occurred while children were playing with the plastic guns, which have become a mainstay of the celebrations. 

"The Ministry of Interior has banned the toy guns. It is an effort to prevent violence among children. Their safety comes first," spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said.

Plastic air guns which fire rubber or plastic pellets have become extremely popular among children in recent years, a trend that activists and parents blame on the Afghan gun culture.

Guns and firearms are visible everywhere, from shops and restaurants to schools and playgrounds, mostly for security.

Interior Minister Noorolhaq Olomi ordered all toy guns to be collected from shops on Tuesday.

Many parents welcomed the move.

"I very much support the effort because toy guns are a way of encouraging children to join in the violence," said Basir Ahmad, a father of two in Kabul.

"The children play both sides, cops and robbers," he said. "Psychologically it has a negative impact on the future of the kids."

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