UN chief underscores need to end Afghan violence following deadly rocket attacks

November 22, 2020
File photo shows Kabul, the center of Afghanistan's political and social life. — courtesy UNAMA/Fardin Waezi
File photo shows Kabul, the center of Afghanistan's political and social life. — courtesy UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

NEW YORK — The UN Secretary-General has condemned rocket attacks in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul on Saturday which killed at least eight civilians and wounded many more.

The rockets reportedly were fired from vehicles, hitting several densely populated areas. The Daesh (so-called IS) group affiliate in the country has claimed responsibility, according to media reports that cited intelligence sources.

UN chief António Guterres has expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured, his spokesperson said in a statement.

‘Deeply shocking and deplorable’

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has also extended condolences to the bereaved.

In a post on Twitter, UNAMA said it was “Deeply shocking and deplorable that civilians should be subjected to such indiscriminate attacks. Those responsible must face justice.”

The attacks occurred just hours before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet in Qatar with representatives from the Afghan government and the Taliban, who have been holding talks in the Gulf State since September.

Renew commitment to peace

The secretary-general has underscored the urgency of ending the violence in Afghanistan.

“He hopes the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations can swiftly achieve a de-escalation of the conflict and cessation of attacks in order to save lives,” the UN statement said.

“The upcoming Afghanistan 2020 Conference on Nov. 23 and 24, co-hosted by Afghanistan, Finland, and the United Nations, is an opportunity to renew commitments to the peaceful development and future prosperity of the country.”

More than 70 countries are expected to participate in the donor conference, which aims to coordinate development cooperation for the period from 2021-2024. The event will take place virtually from the UN Office in Geneva, with only the co-hosts meeting in person. — UN News

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