News - Afghanistan
Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Tuesday banned the importing of pellet guns after health officials reported at least 150 injuries to people - mostly eye injuries - over Eid on account of pellet guns accidents.
"According to the decision of the Ministry of Interior the importation of pellet guns is banned for the protection of citizens, especially children. The importation of pellet guns will no longer be permitted," said Sediq Sediqqi MoI spokesman.
In reaction to the move, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) came out in sharp criticism and said the ministry should have asked responsible institutions to rather monitor the quality of such toys being imported.
"The view of ACCI is that the ministry [should have worked] in coordination with responsible institutions instead of banning toy guns. They should monitor the quality of imported toys and not allow low quality and dangerous toys to be imported," said Azrakhsh Hafizi, head of the International Relations Committee at Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).
This decision comes just days after businesses selling pellet guns recorded record sales over the Eid period. They said they sold far more guns this year than last year. According to them, the pellet guns are imported mostly from Pakistan and China.
In addition, officials from the Noor Eye Hospital in Kabul said on Monday that at least 116 people were treated at their hospital for eye injuries over Eid on account of pellet guns. That number marks an eight percent increase against last year.
Pictures from Afghan families' Eid celebrations across social media often show images of children playing with toy guns - which have grown increasingly in popularity in Afghanistan in recent years.