United Nations condemns killing of sportsmen, first responders and journalists

6 Sep 2018

United Nations condemns killing of sportsmen, first responders and journalists

KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns yesterday’s attack targeting civilians at a Kabul sports centre which killed at least 22 civilians and wounded more than 75 others.

The first of two blasts occurred when a suicide bomber detonated himself inside the gym at a wrestling event. A car bomb was soon after triggered when first responders attended the scene. Among those killed were at least two journalists from the Tolo news agency. Several other reporters were injured.

“This latest cynical act of terror targeting ordinary citizens of Kabul, along with first responders and journalists, is deeply shocking,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “We join Afghans in expressing our revulsion at such a callous attack.”

The sports centre where the attack took place is located in Kabul’s western Dashti-i-Barchi suburb, which is densely populated by Afghanistan’s Shi’a community. UNAMA has documented a pattern of attacks deliberately carried out against this community in past years, the latest of which occurred on 15 August at an education centre in the same neighbourhood. As the Shi’a Muslim community prepares to commemorate Ashura in coming days, immediate and long term security measures need to be commensurate with the continued risks this community is facing.

UNAMA demands that the orchestrators of this campaign of systematic attacks against the Shi’a Muslim religious minority face justice for their crimes.

UNAMA expresses its deep concern over the heavy price paid by Afghan media, with the killing of journalists in Afghanistan being among the highest in the world.

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