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Afghanistan: UN condemns 'brutal' suicide attack in Jalalabad

18 April 2015 – United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonoviæ, has strongly condemned the "brutal" suicide attack that reportedly killed at least 35 people and injured more than 100 others in the Afghan city of Jalalabad earlier today.

According to media reports, the suicide attack targeted people queuing outside a bank in the centre of the city, including Government employees and security forces personnel collecting their salaries. Among those killed and injured were children and the attack was subsequently followed by at least two other bombings later in the day.

In a news release issued by the UN Office of the High-Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), Mr. Šimonoviæ, who is currently visiting the eastern Afghan city, said that following the attack he immediately met the Acting Governor, local police chief and military commander to express the UN's "deep condolences" and condemn the indiscriminate tactics used in such attacks that were "exacting such an unacceptable toll on Afghan civilians."

In the first three months of 2015, in fact, total civilian deaths and injuries followed the record high levels of 2014, according to the latest figures released the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Between 1 January and 31 March, UNAMA documented 655 deaths and 1,155 injuries with casualties caused by suicide attacks remaining on par with 2014 levels

"The use of suicide bombs and other devices in such an indiscriminate way by insurgent groups clearly constitutes a war crime," Mr. Šimonoviæ continued.

"Those responsible for organising or perpetrating such attacks must be brought to justice."

At the same time, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned in the strongest terms the "barbaric attack."

In a statement issued by his spokesperson's office, Mr. Ban called for those responsible to be "swiftly brought to justice" while urging all Afghans "to remain united in rejecting terrorism and violent extremism."

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