Responding to the deaths of at least 40 people and the wounding of at least 60 in a bomb attack at a religious event in Kabul today, Amnesty International’s Deputy South Asia Director Omar Waraich said:
“This sickening attack once again lays bare the growing risks to civilians in Afghanistan, where a record number of civilians were killed in the first half of 2018 – many of them children.
“Any attack in which civilians are deliberately targeted constitutes a war crime under international law, yet those killed in Kabul today will merely become another statistic.
“Armed groups must immediately halt all attacks targeting civilians and indiscriminate attacks, while the Afghan government must make the protection of civilian lives its absolute priority.
“This attack also once again highlights the irresponsibility of countries in the European Union who claim Afghanistan is a safe place for refugees and asylum seekers to be returned to.”
No one has yet admitted responsibility for the blast.
According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), a total of 1,692 civilians were killed between January 1 and June 30 this year, marking the highest figure for civilian casualties recorded by the UN body.