Afghanistan on Tuesday banned the sale of toy Kalashnikov (AK 47) and other imitation rifles after they injured more than 100 people during celebrations marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Toy guns that fire rubber or plastic pellets are popular with Afghan children, and sales typically spike during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
Over 100 children and teenagers suffered eye injuries over the course of three days of festivities that ended on Sunday, according the Afghanistan Interior Ministry.
"Interior Minister Nur ul-Haq Ulumi has ordered police forces to confiscate all toy guns… which can lead to physical and psychological damage among people," a ministry statement said.
'A positive step'
The Afghan government is seeking to reduce the influence of such toys on the country's youth, with some observers connecting juvenile war games to violence as adults.
"This is a positive step that will stop children from taking up real arms when they grow up," Abdul Shaheed wrote on Facebook. "Militancy and war has promoted a brutal culture of violence in our society that is impacting children."
Many Afghan youths spend "Eidi," the pocket money elders traditionally give out to children during Eid, on the fake guns, including imitation Kalashnikovs and fake pistols.
bw/cmk (AFP, dpa)