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Afghanistan: UN official appalled by deadly attack on mosque

2 September 2009 – A senior United Nations official spoke out against today’s suicide bomb attack at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, stressing that it is “indefensible” that such a blast occurred during the holy month of Ramadan.

The attack at Metherlam Mosque in Laghman province has claimed some two dozen lives, including that of the South Asian nation’s deputy chief of intelligence, according to press reports.

“The contrast between the majority of Afghans who yearn for peace during this holy month and those who conducted this attack could not be more stark,” Peter W. Galbraith, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, said in a statement issued in the capital, Kabul.

The attack comes just one week after a suicide attack – condemned by the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others – in the southern city of Kandahar killed over 40 civilians and wounded at least 80 others.

In that incident, a truck bomb exploded in a residential area of the city, in southern Afghanistan, near a Japanese construction company, a guest house used by foreigners and government offices, according to media reports.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “shocked and dismayed” when he learned of the attack, his spokesperson said in a statement. “He condemns in the strongest possible terms this brutal and senseless act of violence.”

In a press statement deploring the bombing, the Council emphasized that “no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and the international community.”

That blast occurred just days after the country held presidential and provincial council elections.


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