UNAMA condemns killing of 17 civilians by Taliban

14 May 2015

UNAMA condemns killing of 17 civilians by Taliban

KABUL - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)  strongly condemns yesterday’s killing of at least 17 civilians in two separate attacks for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility. 

An attack against civilians gathered for a cultural event in the Park Palace hotel in Kabul killed 14 civilians and injured several others.  A further three civilians were killed and another two injured in an attack on the Department of Haj and Religious Endowment in Lashkargah in Helmand.

“These deliberate attacks on civilians are atrocities,” said the Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA’s Human Rights Director. “Taliban statements on avoiding civilian casualties ring hollow when we set them against the latest killings. The Taliban should abide by their commitments and immediately stop deliberately attacking civilians.”

UNAMA highlights that international humanitarian law, which binds all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan including the Taliban, prohibits attacks against civilians and civilian locations, such as civilian government offices and hotels, at any time and in any place whatsoever. Such acts may amount to war crimes.

In the first four months of 2015, UNAMA documented a record high number of 2,937 civilian casualties (974 civilian deaths and 1,963 injured), a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2014.

“With this years’ appalling rise in civilian casualties, UNAMA again urges parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to protect civilians in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law,” said Gagnon.

UNAMA extends its condolences to the families of all of those killed and injured in the 13 May attacks.