UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

16 August 2018

The perpetrators of Wednesday’s “heinous” suicide bombing that killed students at an education centre in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, must be brought to justice, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Nearly 50 people were killed in the attack which António Guterres has condemned in the strongest terms, according to a statement issued on Thursday by his spokesman.

Most were teenagers studying for university entrance exams.

“Those responsible for this heinous attack must be held accountable. The targeting of civilians, in particular children, is unacceptable,” the statement said.

Those responsible for this heinous attack must be held accountable. The targeting of civilians, in particular children, is unacceptable - UN Secretary-General

The Security Council has joined Mr. Guterres in expressing sympathy to the families of the victims of what they described as “the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack.”

The 15 ambassadors reaffirmed that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of motivation.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General is also urging warring parties in Afghanistan to step up efforts towards achieving peace following deadly fighting in Ghazni.

António Guterres conveyed his condolences to families who have suffered from attacks by the Taliban, which launched an assault on the eastern city on Friday.

At least 400 people have been killed in the siege, around a quarter of them civilians, according to media reports. The UN chief stated that the targeting of civilians and of civilian facilities are clear violations of international humanitarian law.

He stressed the “urgent need” for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of talks between the sides to negotiate a sustainable peace. 

“The warring parties must do everything feasible to ensure that no civilians are further killed or injured by the fighting, and must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance so that it can reach Ghazni,” he added, according to a statement issued late on Wednesday by his spokesman.

The Secretary-General also underlined that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and called for a peaceful settlement to the fighting “in the interest of building a more stable and prosperous future for all Afghans.”