15 August 2012 - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan strongly condemns the spate of attacks around Afghanistan yesterday that killed and injured over 200 civilians. In particular, a series of separate suicide attacks in crowded public bazaars – where civilians were shopping for the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday -- in Zaranj city of Nimroz province and Dasht-i-Archi district of Kunduz province, resulted in at least 45 civilian deaths and over 152 other injuries. This was the deadliest day for civilians so far this year. Print in English
Last week, UNAMA released its mid-year report on protection of civilians, expressing serious concerns over continued conflict-related violence inflicting devastating toll on civilians. The report noted that improvised explosive devices posed the greatest threat for Afghan civilians and that the use of these indiscriminate weapons has, by far, resulted in more civilian deaths and injuries than any other tactic.
UNAMA has repeatedly called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians from harm, and in particular called on Anti-Government Elements to immediately cease the use of tactics such as suicide attacks that fail to distinguish between civilians and combatants as well as unlawful tactics, such as targeted killings.
“I reiterate the UN’s message to all anti-government groups to cease attacks on public places immediately, particularly at this time when large groups of people are gathering to prepare for a sacred Islamic holiday,” said UNAMA’s Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom. “IEDs have had a devastating impact on innocent Afghan children, women and men and their use should be stopped immediately.”
UNAMA expresses its deepest condolences to the victims of these attacks and their families, wishing a speedy recovery for those injured.