Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned a series of targeted attacks against Nowruz celebrations in Syria which left scores of people dead and wounded, the United Nations spokesperson's office has announced.
According to reports, two separate bombings killed and injured up to 100 people, including women and children, in the Syrian city of Al-Hasakah, in the country's northeast, as revellers celebrated Nowruz – a holiday marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature.
Initial reports also link the attacks to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been operational in the region.
“These heinous attacks took place during a holiday that is customarily a time for Kurdish communities to come together to share their hopes for the new year,” the statement declared.
“The terrorist organization's despicable agenda includes efforts to incite sectarian and ethnic division among Syria's diverse communities. It must not be allowed to succeed.”
In the statement, released late yesterday evening, the Secretary-General also extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of all acts of violence against civilians in Syria, and his demand that all sides in this brutal conflict stop the use of indiscriminate weapons in populated areas,” it concluded.