UNAMA condemns killing of civilians at wedding party
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemned shelling that hit a wedding party in the southern province of Helmand killing as many as 25 civilians and wounding 45 others, a statement said Thursday.
Most of the killed and injured were women and children attending a wedding celebration in a civilian house when it was hit by at least one of three mortars fired from an Afghan National Army check-post in the Sarwan Kala area of Sangin district.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan, said: “I urge the Afghan authorities to investigate this terrible incident and take the necessary steps to prevent any reoccurrence.”
The statement said that majority of the civilian casualties caused by the unexplained shelling were women and children, with 35 girls and boys among the 45 injured. “The indiscriminate use of mortars in civilian populated areas is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Yamamoto added.
International humanitarian law prohibits attacks which are not directed at a specific military objective and requires all parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan – including Afghan security forces – to uphold their legal obligations to at all times avoid harm to civilians, it added.
Figures released last month by UNAMA showed that the number of civilians killed and injured this year in Afghanistan is the highest ever recorded since the Mission began its comprehensive Protection of Civilians reports in 2009.
The UNAMA, it said expressed condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the attack and wishes a speedy recovery to all those who have been injured.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.