The United Nations has strongly condemned yesterday’s attacks in four Afghan provinces which killed 40 civilians, including 10 children, and injured at least 67 others, and called for those responsible to be held accountable.
According to media reports, the attacks include two Taliban suicide bombings and a NATO airstrike that Afghan officials say killed 18 civilians. The deadliest attack reportedly took place in the southern province of Kandahar, where a double suicide bombing killed more than 22 people and wounded at least 50 others.
Since the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began monitoring incidents of civilian casualties in the present armed conflict, the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide attacks by anti-government elements have by far caused the greatest number of civilian casualties.
“Yesterday’s attacks in Kandahar, Faryab and Paktika underlined the disproportionate impact that these internationally condemned tactics have on civilians, particularly on women and children,” the mission said in a statement.
UNAMA has also repeatedly expressed concern that aerial operations have resulted in more civilian deaths and injuries than any other tactic used by pro-government forces since the present armed conflict began. “Unfortunately, the incident in Logar on 6 June reinforces this trend.”
“UNAMA reiterates its condemnation of the use of improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks and the indiscriminate and disproportionate toll that they exact on Afghan women, children and men,” said the mission, which called for those responsible to be held accountable.
It also called on all parties to the conflict to increase their efforts to protect civilians, and to comply fully with their legally binding international responsibility to minimize civilian loss of life and injury.