Afghanistan

Pressure-plate IED kills eight children returning from school in Paktika

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KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns yesterday’s killing of 12 civilians, including eight children returning home from school for the weekend, caused when the vehicle in which they were travelling detonated a pressure-plate improvised explosive device (PPIED) placed on a main public road in Paktika province.

“Children are once again the main victims of these indiscriminate and illegal weapons,” said Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “There is a simple message to the perpetrators: stop using these weapons if you are serious about safeguarding Afghanistan’s civilians and the country’s future generation.”

The blast, that occurred in the Pirkoti area leading to the Urgun district centre, also injured four other passengers of the private vehicle, including three children.

2016 marked the highest recorded civilian casualties caused by pressure-plate IEDs in a single year. Pressure-plate IEDs have killed a total of 2,111 civilians and injured 2,527 more since 2009, when UNAMA began systematically recording such figures in Afghanistan.

UNAMA expresses deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.