Afghanistan: UN condemns terrorist attack that leaves scores dead in Kabul

23 July 2016

Senior United Nations officials as well as the UN Security Council have strongly condemned an attack on a peaceful demonstration the Afghan capital that killed at least 80 people and injured more than 230 others, they also expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims.

In today's attack, for which local affiliates of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL/Da'esh] has claimed responsibility, two explosions occurred at Dehmazang square in Kabul city, targeting the demonstration. One suicide attacker detonated his device among the demonstrators while police reportedly shot and killed a second attacker.

According to a statement issued by his office, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the terrorist attack was a “despicable crime” that targeted citizens peacefully exercising their fundamental human rights. The UN chief called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

The Secretary-General also expressed his solidarity with the people and Government of Afghanistan, the statement added.

In his own statement, Mogens Lykketoft , President of the General Assembly expressed shock at the killings in the country which, he said, is still struggling with the very grave consequences of decades of civil war and violent extremism.

“I feel the deepest sorrow and anger about the terrible terror attacks,” he said.

A condemnation also came from the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and the head of UNAMA called the attack “an outrage that cannot be justified.”

“An attack deliberately targeting a large, concentrated group of civilians amounts to a war crime,” he said in the statement, which was issued by UNAMA.

“This attack is particularly heinous because it targeted civilians as they exercised their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.” Mr. Yamamoto said, adding: “It is an attempt to spread terror amongst civilians and stifle the freedoms that Afghans have sacrificed so much to obtain.”

The UN stands firmly with the people of Afghanistan as they seek to exercise their fundamental human rights, he stated.

Reiterating that international humanitarian and international human rights laws underscore the protection of civilians, Mr. Yamamoto stressed that the perpetrators of the attack must be held accountable.

In a separate statement, members of the Security Council condemned the attack in the strongest terms and reiterated serious concerns at the threats posed by terrorist groups as well as other illegal and armed groups to the local population, National Defence and Security Forces, and the international presence in the country.

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation and wherever, whenever and by whomsoever it is committed,” the members said in the statement. “[These acts] should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.”

They underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financers and sponsors of the act to justice, and stressed the need to take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, terrorist organizations and individual terrorists.

They reiterated that no violent or terrorist acts can reverse the Afghan-led process along the path towards peace, democracy and stability in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and by the international community.


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