The United Nations envoy in Afghanistan has strongly condemned today’s roadside bombing in the southern province of Helmand that reportedly killed 14 civilians and wounded many others, including children.
“We offer our sincere condolences and those of the entire United Nations family in Afghanistan to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives, and our prayers for the speedy recovery of survivors,” Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said in a statement.
UNAMA’s human rights team is gathering information on the incident, in which a roadside bomb struck a bus in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of the province.
“The planting of improvised explosive devices on roadways either targeting civilian transport or indiscriminately affecting civilians is against international humanitarian law,” stated Mr. de Mistura.
“There can be no justification for such action.”
In his most recent report on the situation in Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the number of security incidents between mid-September and mid-December was 66 per cent higher than during the same period in 2009.
Anti-government elements were responsible for the deaths and injuries of 4,738 civilians, or 76 per cent of the total, during the reporting period, with suicide and improvised explosive device attacks causing most casualties, he added.