United Nations condemns attack deliberately targeting students at school

18 Aug 2018

United Nations condemns attack deliberately targeting students at school

KABUL - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns the Kabul school attack that the Mission has now verified to have killed 40 students and injured 67, the majority of whom were young women and men.

Facts in the incident have now become clear. On the afternoon of 15 August, a suicide attacker walked into the Mahwood Education Centre and detonated an explosive vest in a classroom crowded with students who were preparing for their university entrance exams. The majority of those killed and injured were 16 to 20 years old.

“An attack deliberately targeting students can only be described as a cowardly act of terror,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “This atrocity not only robbed these young women and men of their futures but also deprived Afghanistan of all the benefits that their education and potential would have brought this country.”

The Mahwood Education Centre, where the attack took place, is located in Kabul’s Dashti-i-Barchi neighbourhood, which is densely populated by Afghanistan’s Shia minority community. UNAMA has documented several previous attacks deliberately carried out against this community.

Additional efforts to protect Shia places of worship were announced one year ago by the Government of Afghanistan. This week’s attack, however, marks the first time that students, many of them children, have been deliberately targeted.

“The pace of such attacks directed against civilians indicates that current measures in place to protect all civilians from harm must be strengthened,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA. “The United Nations stands with all Afghans in solidarity and remains committed to an Afghan-led peace process that will end the war, enabling Afghanistan to allocate more resources to protect all its citizens from such atrocities.”

The United Nations extends deep condolences to families who lost loved ones and wishes a quick recovery to those injured.