7 June 2014 Following yesterday's “appalling” suicide bomb attack in Kabul against the convoy of a presidential candidate, the top United Nations official in Afghanistan has condemned the incident and reiterated his belief that the Afghan people will “not be deterred by such acts of terror.”
“I strongly condemn this appalling attack against the democratic process,” said Ján Kubiš, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a press statement issued earlier today in the wake of the incident, which killed 13 civilians and security personnel and wounded a further 46 people.
The incident took place in the run-up to the 14 June second round run-off to elect the country's next President. According to UNAMA, two suicide bombers attacked the convoy of presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah while he was travelling to a political rally in western Kabul. Dr. Abdullah was uninjured.
“The high number of civilians killed and injured further shows a complete disregard for the lives of ordinary Afghans. Such an attack on a busy road used by many civilians violates the most basic principles of humanity” the UNAMA chief declared.
Mr. Kubiš underlined continued support for Afghanistan's electoral process and belief that the Afghan people were determined to defend democracy and would not be deterred by such acts of terror.
While expressing condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in the incident, UNAMA also reiterated that attacks directed against civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law which parties to the armed conflict - including all anti-Government elements – must uphold.
“Attacks on civilians particularly through the use of indiscriminate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) may amount to a war crime,” added the Mission.
The UN Security Council yesterday issued a similarly strong condemnation of the attack on Dr. Abdullah's convoy, and also underlined their support for Afghanistan's democratic processes and looked forward to the second round of the presidential election and the continued orderly transition to a new administration.
In early April, Afghans thronged to polling stations to cast their ballots for a successor to President Hamid Karzai and members of 34 provincial councils. Following next weekend's run-off election, the presidential poll will result in the first democratic transfer of power from one elected leader to another in the country.
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