United Nations condemns attack targeting civilians at Kabul commemoration event

6 Mar 2020

United Nations condemns attack targeting civilians at Kabul commemoration event

KABUL - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns today’s attack in Kabul. Initial reports indicate that the attack killed nearly 30 civilians and injured many more, among them women and children.

In the Mazari Square area of Kabul this morning, armed men opened fire on a gathering of around 1,000 people who had assembled to commemorate Abdul Ali Mazari, the former leader of Afghanistan’s Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami political party. In attendance were Afghanistan’s Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, and former president Hamid Karzai.

“I condemn in the strongest terms this deliberate attack on civilians,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Those who have organized and enabled this attack must be brought to justice and held to account.”

Abdul Ali Mazari is of special significance to Afghanistan’s Hazara and Shia Muslim communities. UNAMA’s human rights team has documented several previous attacks deliberately carried out against these communities and is looking into the incident today to establish additional facts, including the group responsible.

“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,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA.

Attacks directed against Afghanistan’s civilian population, including religious or ethnic minorities, are serious violations of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes. When committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, such acts may also constitute crimes against humanity.

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