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UNAMA condemns Jalalabad attack

AT-KABUL:  The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Saturday strongly condemned the back-to-back attacks in Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province, which killed at least eight civilians and injured at least 55, the agency said in a statement.

“Facts in the incident have now become clear. Four explosives were detonated targeting those gathered after evening prayers to watch a match between two local teams at a cricket stadium. Two of the explosives were detonated inside the stadium, and the other two outside, timed in an apparent attempt to target those fleeing the first blasts. The explosions left scores dead and injured, with many of the injured now in critical condition, the statement added.

“I am outraged by this attack that used four bombs carefully calculated to kill and maim civilians watching a cricket match,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “This cold and brutal act can have no justification whatsoever; those responsible must be held accountable.”

Attacks targeting civilians are violations of international humanitarian law. Under international humanitarian law, such attacks may amount to war crimes. The United Nations maintains that all parties to the conflict must at all times uphold their obligations to protect civilians from harm.

“At a time when Afghans are looking toward much-needed peace, we must not allow such attacks to deter our collective resolve to make progress on ending the conflict,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA. “The United Nations stands with Afghans in solidarity and remains committed to an Afghan-led peace process that will end the war and enable Afghanistan to allocate more resources to protect all citizens from such atrocities.”

On behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan, Yamamoto expressed his condolences to the loved ones of those killed in the attack and wished a full and speedy recovery to those injured.

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