Paktika suicide attack widely condemned
KABUL (Pajhwok): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Monday strongly condemned attack by a suicide bomber during a volleyball tournament in southeastern Paktika province that left 57 innocent civilians and officials dead and over 60 wounded.
In a statement, Gen. John F. Campbell, ISAF commander said: “"I express my deepest sympathies to the victims of this vicious attack and their loved ones.”This despicable act of violence by the enemies of peace and progress in Afghanistan shows their complete disregard for human life.”
The statement said that ISAF remains committed to supporting the Afghan National Security Forces as they continue to secure a future for the Afghan people free from senseless and indiscriminate violence.
On its part, in a statement, the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif "strongly condemned the suicide attack" in Paktika province in which precious human lives have been lost while scores others injured.
They said that terrorism was the common enemy of both the countries and reiterated their resolve to jointly fight this menace.
"They expressed their heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the government and people of Afghanistan and to the bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss. They also prayed for the early recovery of the wounded," the statement added.
Also, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in a statement condemned Paktika attack. In a statement Baird said: “Canada condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack that took place at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan, reportedly killing dozens of people and injuring scores more.”
“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and friends, and wish a swift recovery to those injured,” Baird added.
Baird said that “this heinous attack was clearly meant to target innocent civilians who had gathered to watch the sporting event. Afghan civilians continue to bear the devastating impact of this ongoing campaign of terror.”
“Canada stands by the Government of Afghanistan as it strengthens its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms in order to bring peace and prosperity to all Afghans,” Baird added.
Separately, Richard Stagg, UK ambassador in Kabul vehemently condemned the Paktika attack. Richard said: “I condemn the appalling attack in Paktika. Such inhumanity achieves nothing. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends.”
Also, the US Embassy in Kabul categorically condemned the Paktika attack. A statement from the embassy said: “The targeting of innocent bystanders, including many children, at a volleyball tournament is barbaric and deplorable.”
“We offer our sincere condolences to those affected by this terrorist attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families,” the statement added.
Similary, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also condemned in the strongest terms yesterday’s suicide attack in south-eastern Paktika province.
“This indiscriminate attack in an area crowded with civilians demonstrates a complete disregard for civilian lives,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom. “Deliberately and indiscriminately causing death and injury to such a large number of civilians is an atrocity.”
UNAMA emphasizes that the indiscriminate use of explosives in areas crowded by civilians is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime. All parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan – including all Anti-Government Elements – are bound to uphold their legal obligations to at all times avoid harm to civilians.
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