The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned Wednesday night’s attack targeting civilians at a Kabul sports centre which killed at least 22 civilians and wounded more than 75 others.
The first of two explosions happened just after 6pm when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the wrestling gym.
An hour later a car bomb was triggered while first responders were attending the scene.
Among those killed were two journalists from the TOLOnews – Samim Faramarz and Ramiz Ahmadi. Several other reporters were injured.
“This latest cynical act of terror targeting ordinary citizens of Kabul, along with first responders and journalists, is deeply shocking,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
“We join Afghans in expressing our revulsion at such a callous attack.”
The gym where the attack took place is located in Kabul’s western Dashti-e-Barchi suburb, a densely populated area of mostly Shi’a Muslims.
UNAMA said it “has documented a pattern of attacks deliberately carried out against this community in past years, the latest of which occurred on 15 August at an education centre in the same neighbourhood.
“As the Shi’a Muslim community prepares to commemorate Ashura in coming days, immediate and long term security measures need to be commensurate with the continued risks this community is facing.
“UNAMA demands that the orchestrators of this campaign of systematic attacks against the Shi’a Muslim religious minority face justice for their crimes,” read their statement.
In addition, UNAMA expressed its deep concern over the heavy price paid by the Afghan media, with the killing of journalists in Afghanistan being among the highest in the world.
“The United Nations extends deep condolences to families who lost loved ones and wishes a quick recovery to those injured,” their statement read.