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Afghanistan: UN condemns Taliban’s attack on judges and prosecutors

12 May 2015

Afghanistan: UN condemns Taliban’s attack on judges and prosecutors
New York, May 12 (JEN): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has strongly condemned Sunday's suicide attack against a civilian bus transporting employees of the Attorney General's Office in Kabul, which killed five prosecutors, including three women prosecutors and injured 19 other civilians.

“An emerging pattern of deliberate targeted attacks by the Taliban against civilian staff in the Attorney General's Office and legal professionals is reprehensible and must stop," said the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto.

"Attacks deliberately targeting civilians are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes,” he added, expressing condolences to the families of the victims and wishing a speedy recovery for the injured.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, said a statement released from UNAMA on Monday.

From 1 January to 10 May 2015, the Taliban claimed responsibility on their website for 11 separate attacks against legal professionals and court houses which caused 114 civilian casualties (28 killed and 86 injured), an increase of more than 600 per cent from the same period last year.

UNAMA documented an additional six incidents of abductions, threats, intimidation and harassment of judicial authorities so far this year.

"These attacks call into question the Taliban's public statements to protect civilians," said Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA's Human Rights Director. 

 
He added, "All of those killed and injured in the 10 May attack in Kabul were civilians going about their daily business.”

UNAMA reiterates that international humanitarian law, which binds all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, prohibits attacks against civilians at any time and in any place. 
 
This includes civilian government workers and judicial authorities.

Photo: UNHCR (file)