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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Chaos at landmark Kabul concert
Kabul friendly concert banner
Sonu Nigam's concert ends as the stage collapses
The first major concert by a foreign musician in the Afghan capital Kabul since the fall of the Taleban has ended in chaos after the stage collapsed.

The star of the show, Indian singer, Sonu Nigam, was unhurt but other musicians were injured, reports say.

Correspondents say the collapse was caused by having more than 100 security officials on the stage.

Earlier police beat fans outside who could not get in, despite having tickets, leaving many injured.

The venue was the stadium where the Taleban carried out amputations and executions of those guilty of criminal offences.


Around 10,000 fans from all over Afghanistan had arrived at the stadium by 1700 local time on Wednesday, four hours before the musicians arrived.

Correspondents say that the crowed cheered when the musicians appeared on the stage despite the delay. The excitement with which the Indian musicians were received was unprecedented.

Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam - 'We Indians like Afghans'

The long-awaited concert was called off after the stage collapse, to the disappointment of the fans.

Some people argued that Afghans "are not yet ready" for such concerts, others were critical of the security forces for failing to maintain order.

"Afghanistan is still far from hosting a great singer like Sonu Nigam", one of the fans, 30-year-old Bashir Ahmad, told the BBC.

"The country and its people have spent many years grappling with war and isolation. It is difficult for them to give a proper welcome to foreign musicians."

"Things went wrong", another fan said. "But I hope Sonu Nigam doesn't leave the country with bad memories."

The singer had hoped to give a memorable evening to his Afghan fans.

"We Indians like Afghans", he said at the beginning of the concert. "It is the news of insecurity in Afghanistan that prevents Indians from visiting. But on my return, I will tell Indians that Afghanistan is secure and we can feel safe amongst Afghans."

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