Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged an immediate halt to attacks targeting civilians in Afghanistan following a suicide attack near the Supreme Court building in the capital city. In a statement from his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban condemned the 11 June attack on civilian Government workers which he said was “timed and located to maximize civilian casualties.”
“Targeted attacks against civilians are unacceptable and a serious breach of international humanitarian law,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said.
Mr. Ban “calls upon those responsible to immediately halt such attacks, which only add further to the suffering of the Afghan people.”
The attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, killed at least 17 civilians, wounding some 40 more.
The Secretary-General extended his sincere condolences to the families of those killed and expressed his hope for the swift recovery of those injured.
The UN Security Council and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) had also condemned the attack.
This latest incident follows a series of attacks against Afghan judicial officials elsewhere in the country, most notably the Taliban’s attack against the provincial court in the western province of Farah in April, in which 33 civilians were killed and 105 were wounded.
At a news conference in Kabul the day of the incident, the head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, noted that the security environment for Afghan civilians has worsened this year, with a 24 per cent rise in the number of civilians killed and injured compared to the same period in 2012.
According to UNAMA figures, 3,092 civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict between 1 January and 6 June this year.