NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18 April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. The suicide attack targeted people queuing outside a bank in central Jalalabad, including Government employees and security forces personnel collecting their salaries. At least 35 people were reportedly killed and more than 100 people injured, including children. The attack was accompanied by other Improvised Explosive Devices that were planted in city.
“Immediately after the attack, I met the Acting Governor, local police chief and military commander and expressed the United Nations’ deep condolences to the victims and families affected,” Šimonović said. “I not only condemn this terrible attack, but the indiscriminate tactic it represents, which is exacting such an unacceptable toll on Afghan civilians.”
While in Jalalabad, the Assistant-Secretary General met with local Government officials, civil society actors and women’s groups.
“The use of suicide bombs and other devices in such an indiscriminate way by insurgent groups clearly constitutes a war crime, and those responsible for organising or perpetrating such attacks must be brought to justice,” Šimonović said.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released its latest annual report on trends in civilian casualties in January. The report highlighted a 22 per cent increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan during 2014, and these high levels have continued in the first months of 2015.
Ivan Šimonović assumed his functions as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on 17 July 2010. He heads the New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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