Statement by Tadamichi Yamamoto on attack near High Peace Council facility in Kabul

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KABUL - On behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan, I unequivocally condemn today’s attack in Kabul city in which scores of civilians were killed or injured.

The facts in this incident are clear. The explosion occurred near a High Peace Council facility in a civilian-populated area of Kabul. While the Taliban claim suggested the purpose of the attack was to target police, a massive vehicle bomb in a densely populated area could not reasonably be expected to leave civilians unharmed.

I am particularly disturbed by credible reports that the attackers used a vehicle painted to look like an ambulance, including bearing the distinctive medical emblem, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.

I reiterate that under no circumstances are such attacks justifiable, as indiscriminate weapons inevitably cause harm to civilians. I call upon the Taliban to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, at all times.

Today’s attack is nothing short of an atrocity, and those who have organized and enabled it must be brought to justice and held to account.

On behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan, I express our deep condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery of the injured.

Tadamichi Yamamoto is the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).