Security Council condemns ‘heinous’ attacks on Afghan civilians

Security Council condemns ‘heinous’ attacks on Afghan civilians

7 December 2011 –The Security Council has strongly condemned yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif that led to numerous deaths and injuries among Afghan civilians on one of the most important days for Shiite Muslims.

The near simultaneous attacks occurred around midday on Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein. A suicide bomber struck a shrine packed with worshippers in the capital, Kabul, reportedly killing at least 54 people, while another blast struck near a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing four.

“The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these heinous acts and to their families, and to the people and Government of Afghanistan,” Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the Council’s presidency for this month, said in a statement to the press.

“The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Afghanistan to bring those responsible to justice,” he added.

The 15-member body also reaffirmed that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The attacks were also condemned by the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who earlier this week stated that it is necessary to ensure that protection of civilians in the country remains a priority.

All killings, whether targeted or indiscriminate, are “unacceptable and must stop,” he said at the International Conference on Afghanistan, which was held in the German city of Bonn on Monday.

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