The wrestling mats were spattered with blood, the sports bags and water bottles still strewn across the floor on Thursday, hours after a double bombing ripped through the Maiwand sports club in Kabul, killing at least 26 people and injuring 91.
A regular training session on Wednesday afternoon turned into a massacre when a suicide bomber shot dead a young, unarmed guard at the entrance before blowing himself up near the scores of wrestlers, some of whom were as young as 10.
An hour later a car packed with explosives detonated outside the club, apparently targeting reporters and emergency workers who had gathered at the scene.
Two journalists from Tolo News, Afghanistan’s largest private broadcaster, were among the dead. Four media workers were wounded.
Most of the deaths were caused by severe burns and shrapnel, doctors said.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the latest attack.
As many as 150 people were inside the hall in the heavily Shia neighbourhood at the time of the attack, said club manager Pahlawan Shir.