The top United Nations envoy for Afghanistan has condemned “in the strongest terms” today’s deadly suicide attack in the city of Khost, in the country’s far east, which reportedly left dozens of people dead and injured.
According to reports, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive devices among a group of civilians participating in a peaceful demonstration against corruption not far from the Khost Provincial Governor’s residence. The attack killed 16 people and injured at least 40, including four children.
“Such an attack deliberately targeting a group of civilians is an atrocity,” declared Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in a press statement. “Those responsible for this callous crime must be held accountable.”
The bombing is the latest in a series of targeted attacks in Afghanistan which made 2014 the deadliest for civilians, according to a UNAMA report released in February. Last year, in fact, saw a total of 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured – the highest number of civilian casualties recorded in a single year since the UN started keeping track in 2007.
In his statement, Mr. Haysom expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for those injured.