UNAMA strongly condemns deadly attacks in eastern Afghanistan

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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has strongly condemned  two deadly attacks which took place in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least 19 people, including a dozen children.

In the first attack, according to initial reports, a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle detonated his explosives as a convoy of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was passing a nearby boys' high school in Gardez, the capital of Paktya province. The explosion killed ten boys and injured at least 15 other civilians, including schoolchildren. Two ISAF soldiers and an Afghan police officer were also killed in the blast.

In the city of Mihtarlam, the capital of Laghman province, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a roadside, reportedly killing seven members of one family, including four women and two children.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš said "These attacks resulted in a high number of civilian casualties, with minimal impact on their purported military targets", noting that "any such violence is unacceptable, but especially when it involves civilians and even more so when it involves children". He added that "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 Afghan civilians and injured 287, a 24 per cent increase in total civilian casualties from the same period in 2012.

UNAMA stresses once again that the use of suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices against civilians must stop. It notes that the indiscriminate use of such attacks is in contravention of humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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