Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has strongly condemned the suicide attack in Kabul that left at least 32 civilians dead and dozens more injured.
“On behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan, I condemn today’s attack in Kabul,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As UNAMA continues to verify civilian casualties from the incident, initial reports indicate that at least 25 civilians were killed and many others injured,” read the statement.
However, government officials revised the death toll late Wednesday to at least 32.
Yamamoto said the explosion occurred in a “civilian-populated area of Kabul, where Afghans had gathered peacefully to celebrate Nawroz, the beginning of the new year.
“I reiterate that under no circumstances are such attacks justifiable, and I once again call on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, at all times,” added the UN envoy.
“Today’s egregious attack runs counter to the meaning of Nawroz, a time of renewal and celebration, and a time for promoting the values of peace and solidarity. Those who have organized and enabled this attack must be brought to justice and held to account.
“On behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan, I express our deep condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.
The US ambassador to Kabul John R. Bass also condemned the attack.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night he said: “I was deeply saddened by the shameful attack near Kabul University today, at the start of the new year.
“The violence marred what should have been a day of celebration for many Afghans. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims, for whom the year 1397 already has been marked by tragedy.
“I continue to hope that every citizen of Afghanistan soon will be able to live in peace, without fear of indiscriminate attacks by terrorists who have no respect for human life.
“The United States and its people remain steadfast in their commitment to working with our Afghan partners to combat terrorism and to secure peace in the year ahead,” he said.
Death Toll Rises to 32
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health late Wednesday confirmed 32 people were killed and 52 wounded in the deadly bombing in PD3 in Kabul.
Some of the survivors meanwhile said a lot more people had been killed than what government has stated.
Eye witnesses also described scenes of horror and said they saw body parts of victims lying at the blast site.
This comes after the Ministry of Interior confirmed a suicide bomber detonated his explosives close to the Ali Abad Hospital and Kabul University at around mid-day.
The MoI also confirmed that a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives while walking among a group of people.
“Boys were beating drums when the explosion occurred,” said one survivor, Abdullah.
“I saw the bodies blown apart,” said another survivor Hassan.
The head of Istiqlal hospital, Saber Naseeb, meanwhile confirmed that many of the wounded had been taken to Istiqlal.
“Our blood bank is working well, we do not have any problems, Istiqlal hospital provided blood to those who needed it,” said Naseeb.
Based on statistics of the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), last solar year over 10,000 Afghan civilians were killed and wounded during attacks across the country – including 2,000 children.