AT News Report
KABUL: The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has strongly condemned the attack carried out Saturday during celebrations around Nowruz in the southern town of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province.
Initial findings indicate that at least three civilians were killed and dozens were injured in an attack that deliberately targeted local civilian government officials.
UNAMA notes statements purportedly from the Taliban that were issued to the media in which they claim responsibility for the bombing, as well as assertions that they had not harmed any civilians in the attack, despite acknowledging that government officials had suffered casualties.
UNAMA reminds parties that the definition of civilian under international law includes members of the civilian government administration. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. UNAMA reiterates that under the principle of distinction parties to the conflict are obligated to distinguish between combatants and civilians at all times.
Those who have organized and enabled such attacks must be brought to justice and held to account.
UNAMA expresses its heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.