Afghanistan: UN chief condemns recent terror attacks in Afghanistan

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the recent attacks in Afghanistan that killed countless civilians, including members of the Hazara Shia community and several children.
“The Secretary-General condemns the recent attacks in Afghanistan, including on passenger cars in the town of Mazar-e-Sharif and the Masjid Sharif Hazrat Zakaria mosque in Kabul, which have claimed the lives of numerous civilians, including members of the Hazara Shia community and at least 16 children,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary general in a statement.
Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. “Attacks on civilians and civilian objects, including mosques, are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.”
The Secretary-General reiterated his call on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and their right to practice their religion freely.
This statement comes as Afghanistan was hit by a series of bombings by the Islamic State (IS) that opposed the Taliban regime.
Wednesday’s blast killed at least five worshipers in Kabul and injured 17 others after an explosion ripped through a mosque during evening prayers in Police District (PD) 4. The blast occurred as people offered prayers in Hazrat-e -Zekria Mosque.
The blast came about an hour after three consecutive explosions hit three vans in PD 10 and PD 5 in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing nine people and injuring 15 others. The targeted buses carried commuters.
Afghanistan is at a crossroads and the de facto authorities, the Taliban, must move towards stability and freedom for all citizens, especially women, the independent UN human rights expert said in the capital Kabul on Thursday.
Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett spoke to journalists at the end of an 11-day visit to the country.
Bennett said Afghanistan faces a plethora of human rights challenges that seriously impact the country’s population. However, the Taliban have failed to acknowledge or address the scale and gravity of the abuses, many of which have been committed in their name.

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