UNAMA condemns killing of civilians in Herat mosque attack
KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns last night’s attack at the Jawadia mosque in Herat which killed at least 31 civilians, including 2 children, and injured more than 60 others.
Two attackers entered the Shia mosque during the evening prayer time when several hundred worshipers were present, opening fire and detonating two suicide improvised explosive devices against the congregation.
“This attack deliberately targeting civilians at prayer can have no justification whatsoever,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Fanning terror and sectarian violence against a specific community is abhorrent and those responsible must be brought to account.”
Places of worship and their congregations, as well as religious festivals, require authorities to have appropriate security measures in place, commensurate with the threat level facing communities.
During 2016, UNAMA recorded four separate attacks against Shia mosques and religious gatherings. Islamic State - Khorasan province claimed responsibility for two of those attacks.
Yesterday’s attack in Herat is the fifth attack this year targeting Shia mosques, killing a total of at least 44 civilians and injuring at least 88, according to UNAMA. Four of the attacks occurred in Herat and the other in Kabul. Islamic State - Khorasan province claimed responsibility for two of these attacks.
International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including places of worship.
UNAMA expresses its condolences to the victim’s families and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.