KABUL, 15 July 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns in the strongest terms today’s suicide attack in the district of Urgun in the south-eastern province of Paktika, which killed at least 43 civilians, including eight children.
The attack also injured at least 95 civilians, including many children. The death toll makes it the worst single attack this year.
A vehicle packed with explosives detonated at a busy marketplace in Urgun, killing at least 43 civilians while they were shopping. Initial reports suggest that the attacker prematurely detonated after police detected the explosives in his vehicle.
“Today’s appalling attack during Ramadan – an occasion that should be observed in a spirit of peace and compassion – should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.
The Taliban denied their involvement in the attack and have stated they intend to investigate it.
Today’s explosion follows two suicide attacks earlier this week in the province’s Urgun and Sar Hawzeh districts, which killed four and injured 11. The Taliban claimed responsibility for these two attacks on their website.
The UN Mission reiterates that international humanitarian law, to which all parties to the armed conflict are bound, prohibits the use of indiscriminate and disproportionate tactics, in particular, improvised explosive devices.
UNAMA expresses its heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in these attacks and wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.
For the 2014 Mid-Year Protection of Civilians report in English