The United Nations envoy for Afghanistan has strongly condemned an attack on a peaceful demonstration in the Afghan capital today that claimed the lives of at least 59 civilians and injured some 245 others.
“An attack deliberately targeting a large, concentrated group of civilians amounts to a war crime,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan, said in a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), which he heads up.
“[It] is an outrage that cannot be justified,” he stated.
In the attack today, two explosions occurred at Dehmazang square in Kabul city, targeting a peaceful demonstration. According to UNAMA, one suicide attacker detonated his device among the demonstrators while police reportedly shot and killed a second attacker.
“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.
The senior UN official also conveyed his deep condolences on behalf of the UN system in the country to the families of the victims and a speedy recovery of the injured.