The United Nations has condemned yesterday's terrorist attacks near the Parliament in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, and the residence of the Provincial Governor of Kandahar, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The UN mission in the country said that the attacks killed more than 40 people, mainly civilians and including five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many others were injured, including the Kandahar Governor and the visiting UAE Ambassador.
“Indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including diplomatic envoys, are violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and cannot be justified,” said Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, in a statement issued overnight, in which the United Nations extended its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured while expressing its solidarity with the people and Governments of Afghanistan and of the UAE.
According to a press release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), as many as 13 civilians were killed in an explosion at the residence of the Kandahar Provincial Governor while he was hosting a dinner event for visiting diplomats and dignitaries. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
UNAMA also said that a Taliban suicide attacker detonated his vest outside the Parliamentary Administration Compound in the Daruluman area of Kabul. Shortly afterwards, the Taliban detonated a vehicle packed with explosives on the main road near the compound, impacting a civilian bus, parliamentary staff, bystanders, security guards and those responding to the first attack.
The attacks in the capital killed at least 35 people and injured more than 50. While authorities confirmed two National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials were killed and four injured, preliminary information indicates the majority of the casualties were civilians.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that they were targeting the NDS. The Taliban also acknowledged that they had deliberately timed the second blast to take place as first responders attended to persons caught in the initial explosion.
“Such unprincipled, unlawful and deplorable attacks cause immense human suffering and make the peace that Afghans need and deserve even more difficult to achieve,” said Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Those responsible for these attacks must be held accountable," said Ms. Kardel, who is also acting head of UNAMA.