A donkey was blown up when it was loaded with explosives and used in a “cowardly and shameful” ‘suicide mission’ in Afghanistan.

The animal (not pictured) was loaded with bombs and directed towards a security target. Two policemen in Kunar province were injured when the explosives were detonated before the donkey reached the target.

The Donkey Sanctuary has condemned the attack which took place on Monday (12 March).

“Donkeys are often called beasts of burden but the only beasts in this story are the cruel individuals who sent [this donkey] on such a cowardly and fateful mission,” said Simon Pope, rapid response and campaigns manager at the Donkey Sanctuary. “That they should use an innocent animal in this way is shameful.

“Used across the world to deliver heavy loads, this is not the first time the humble donkey has been exploited in this most barbaric way. The animals have been used to carry bombs in Afghanistan on at least two occasions in the past – in 2009 and 2014.

“In the 2009 attack, the poor creature was shot before it reached a security post after a guard noticed men running away from the donkey after sending it running towards the post.”

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In 2014, Hamas militants used a donkey laden with explosives for a ‘suicide’ attack on an Israeli army position in the southern city of Rafah, near the Egyptian border. Troops were forced to open fire on the animal, blowing it up before it reached them.

“Animal-borne attacks tend to catch security forces unaware and the latest donkey attack in Afghanistan will give Afghan security forces another potential threat to look out for,” added a charity spokesman.

“The Donkey Sanctuary champions donkeys and their welfare, and aims for a world where donkeys live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.”

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