• Jalalabad attack: UN condemns civilian casualties

Jalalabad attack: UN condemns civilian casualties

05 August 2013

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has condemned Saturday’s suicide attack in the eastern city of Jalalabad which killed nine civilians and injured 23 others.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan ( UNAMA) said most of the casualties were reportedly children who were visiting a  nearby mosque for Islamic education.

A UNAMA press release said it was “deeply disappointing and very disturbing” that the attack came only days after its latest report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

That report, released on July 31, noted a  23 per cent rise in the number of civilians killed or injured during the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.  The UN said that a total of 1,319 civilians were killed and  2,533 were injured between January and the end of June.

It attributed the rise primarily to an increase in the use of improvised explosive devices  (IEDs), saying that “Tactics involving IEDs, including suicide and complex attacks, accounted for 52 per cent of all civilian casualties.”  Overall, it said, 74 per cent of all civilian casualties were due to "actions taken by anti-government elements."

The UN also highlighted a 30 per cent rise in the number of Afghan children killed or injured during this period. 

According to  UNAMA’s  Director of Human Rights, Georgette Gagnon, “The growing loss of life and injuries to Afghan women and children in 2013 is particularly disturbing.”