Buzkashi Tournament Kicks Off As Baghlan Celebrates Calm

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After months of insecurity in their province, Baghlan residents celebrated their much hoped for “safety” when they flocked to watch and participate in local Buzkashi matches in the run up to the Persian New Year.

Following ongoing military operations to clear areas of insurgents, Kelagai villagers were the first to take to their horses and participate in this age-old sport.

Buzkashi players welcomed the recent security developments and said as a result they could now celebrate Nawruz – the new year – by holding a Buzkashi tournament.

The tournament kicked off on Wednesday and will continue for the next few days throughout a number of Baghlan areas.

The top players from these matches will be selected to go through to the next stage of the Buzkashi tournament in the northern zone of the country.

Buzkashi – which literally means goat dragging in Persian – is the Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat or calf carcass toward a goal. It is the national sport of Afghanistan, although it was banned under the Taliban regime.

Traditionally, games could last for several days, but in its more regulated tournament version, it has a limited match time.

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