Khost attack at protest rally widely condemned
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan leaders, the United Nations, Pakistan, NATO and others on Thursday strongly condemned a suicide bombing that ripped through protesting residents in the capital city of southeastern Khost province, leaving 18 dead and a lawmaker among 64 injured.
President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah condemned the attack that hit a rally of local residents against corruption in front of the governor’s house in Khost City.
A statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said President Ghani had strongly condemned today’s terrorist attack in the strongest words.
The president said he condemned the “cowardly attack” and that a peaceful protest was a civil right of the people. The attack was an unforgiveable crime, the statement quoted the president as saying.
He directed the authorities concerned to provide needed facilities to the injured and the bereaved families at the earliest.
Abdullah also condemned the attack as a heinous crime and said it reflected the animosity of the enemies of a long-oppressed and innocent Afghan nation. In a statement, Abdullah said the enemy of Afghanistan always tried to keep under attack the war-weary Afghans.
Attacks that claimed precious Afghan lives were unpardonable, the CEO said, directing the Ministry of Public Health to spare no effort in providing quick treatment to the injured. He said if treatment of seriously wounded people was not possible in Khost, the victims should be brought to Kabul for treatment.
Abdullah’s first deputy, Eng. Mohammad Khan, also condemned the suicide attack in Khost. In a statement from his office, Khan said the enemy of Afghanistan had become so merciless that they attacked a protest demonstration. He called the attack an unforgiveable crime.
A statement from the office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the attacker had intentionally struck the civilians. The mission said the perpetrators of the attack should be brought to justice.
Toryalai Weesa, the governor of southern Kandahar province, condemned the attack as one of those in which Afghans and their elders were daily killed and maimed. Such attacks had no place in religion and humanity, the acting governor said.
Meanwhile, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement said the victims of the attack in Khost were civilians. The force quoted a UN report that blamed 72 percent of civilian casualties on the Taliban.
Pakistan condemned the attack in Khost and said such deplorable and indiscriminate attacks against civilians could not be justified under any circumstances.
"Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to the families of the victims and we also pray for the speediest recovery of the injured," Foreign Office spokesperson said a statement. She said Pakistan reiterated its condemnation of terrorism, in all its forms.
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