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UNAMA renews call for end to assaults on civilians

UNAMA renews call for end to assaults on civilians

Jun 03, 2013 - 22:31

KABULinfo-icon (PAN): President Hamid Karzai, the UN mission and ISAFinfo-icon on Monday strongly denounced a suicide attack in southeastern Paktia and a roadside bombing in eastern Laghman provinces.

Ten schoolchildren, two US soldiers and a local policeman were killed at around 12pm when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-rigged motorcycle in front of a high school in the Chamkani district of Paktia.

Separately, seven people of family were killed on Monday morning when a civilian car struck a roadside bomb in Hakimabad Khwar area on the outskirts of Mehtarlam, the capital of Laghman province.

In a statement from the Presidential Palace, Karzai said both attacks were carried out by the “enemies of Afghanistaninfo-icon” -- a euphemism the Afghan government uses for the Talibaninfo-icon.

Karzai offered his condolences to the families of the victims, saying the terrorists had once again demonstrated their utter disregard for civilian lives by killing schoolchildren and womeninfo-icon.

“Killing civilians, especially innocent children, is an unforgivable crime and the criminals would be held accountable on the Day of Judgment,” he said.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said: “These attacks resulted in a high number of civilian casualties, with minimal impact on their purported military targets -- any such violence is unacceptable, but especially when it involves civilians and even more so when it involves children.”

Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA, said: “Any attacks which deliberately take place near a school can only be condemned for the heinous attacks that they are.”

In the past two weeks, conflict-related violence has killed 125 civilians and injured 287, a 24 per cent increase in total civilian casualties from the same period in 2012. The UN mission held anti-government elements responsible for 84 per cent of all civilian casualties during this two-week period.

Renewing its call for an end to suicide attacks and improvised explosive device attacks against civilians, UNAMA noted the indiscriminate use of such assaults was in contravention of humanitarian law and might amount to war crimes.

Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also condemned as senseless the deadly attacks in Paktia and Laghman.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of those affected in today's tragic events. However, these actions will not deter ISAF and its Afghan partners from working towards a more stable and secure Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. Günter Katz, ISAF spokesperson.

"Many of those who were killed today were seeking educationinfo-icon, striving to learn as young people should do, or as was the case with the family, simply trying to live a life in peace and dignity. ISAF will continue to stand alongside the people of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Security Forces as they contribute to a better future," he added.



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