‘Crimes against these victims are…’: UN concerns over blasts in Afghanistan

New York: UN chief Antonio Guterres on Friday expressed his deep concern over a series of blasts in Afghanistan that killed and injured more than 250 people this month. Guterres extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims as he condemned the most recent attack on August 17 at the Kabul mosque.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep concern over a series of explosions in Afghanistan that have killed and injured more than 250 people this month, including children. He strongly condemns the most recent attack on 17 August, at the Abu Bakar Mosque in Kabul city,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said in a statement.

The UN chief said any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. “All Afghans have the right to live in peace and exercise their freedom of religion,” he added.

On Thursday, the UN mission in Afghanistan condemned a fatal attack in Kabul that ripped through the crowded mosque during evening prayers, killing 21 people and injuring dozens of others. “We deplore yesterday’s attack in a Kabul Mosque, the latest in a disturbing series of bombings which have killed and injured more than 250 people in recent weeks, the highest monthly number of civilian casualties over the last year,” UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday.

The UN has called on the Taliban authorities to take concrete steps to prevent all forms of terrorism in Afghanistan amid the deteriorating security situation in the country. “Vulnerable communities should be provided additional support and perpetrators brought to justice,” the UN mission said.

In a strong statement, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett said crimes against these victims are also crimes against us all. “Another targeted explosion yesterday in Kabul reportedly killed 21 and injured 33, including children. Maybe Kabul isn’t your city, but imagine if it were. The crimes against these victims are also crimes against us all. We cannot accept normalisation of an environment of terror,” Bennett tweeted.

This latest bombing in Kabul comes days after the suicide bombing assassination of Rahimullah Haqqani, a prominent cleric who supported the Taliban and was in favour of female education. The Da’esh terrorist network claimed responsibility for the attack. News agencies have reported that senior Taliban officials are meeting on Thursday with more than 2,000 tribal and religious elders in Afghanistan’s second city Kandahar to take “important decisions”.

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