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UNAMA condemns killing of athletes, responders and journalist in Kabul attacks

AT-KABUL: The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned Wednesday’s twin attacks that targeted civilians at a Kabul sports centre, killing at least 22 civilians and wounding more than 75 others.

The first attack occurred when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the gym during a wrestling event. Soon after, a car bomb triggered while responders were helping the victims. Among those killed were two journalists from the Tolo News agency. 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 sports centre where the attack took place is located in Kabul’s western part of Dashti-i-Barchi neighborhood, which is densely populated by Afghanistan’s Shia Muslim community. The UNAMA 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 neighborhood. As the Shia 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 demanded that the orchestrators of this campaign of systematic attacks against the Shia Muslim religious minority face justice for their crimes.

UNAMA expressed its deep concern over the heavy price paid by 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, the statement said.

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