Afghanistan bans toy guns to curb culture of violence

Afghanistan has banned the sale of imitation Kalashnikovs and other fake guns after the toys caused injuries to more than 100 people during celebrations.

The move is part of a wider effort to curb a culture of violence in the war-torn country.

Children toting toy guns that fire rubber or plastic pellets are a common sight during Eid al-Fitr, with sales surging every year amid the festivities that mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

More than 100 children and teenagers suffered eye injuries during three days of celebrations that ended on Sunday, according to health officials.

“Interior minister Noor-ul Haq Uloomi has ordered police to confiscate all toy guns which can lead to physical and psychological damage,” a ministry statement said.

The government wants to reduce the influence of such toys on impressionable young minds, with many observers drawing a connection between juvenile war games and adult violence.

The pocket money traditionally given to children by elders during Eid al-Fitr, or is widely splurged on imitation AK-47s, fake revolver pistols and plastic rifles.

The ban, which, if rigorously enforced, would impact the booming toy business in the country, was widely welcomed on social media, with some calling for a similar crackdown on the sale of real weapons.

“This is a positive step that will stop children from taking up real arms when they grow up,” Abdul Shaheed wrote on Facebook. “Militancy and war has promoted a brutal culture of violence in our society that is impacting children.”

Source : theguardian[dot]com
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