UN condemns attack targeting Afghan judicial officials

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United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 (APP): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned Sunday’s attack in Pul-e-Alam town of Logar Province in which seven civilians were killed and more than 20 injured.

According to UNAMA, three armed Taliban entered the provincial judges’ and prosecutors’ compound in Pul-e-Alam and began shooting Afghan civilians, killing seven, including the chief provincial appeals prosecutor and a juvenile prosecutor, and wounding at least 23 others, including at least three judges and another prosecutor. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

“I condemn today’s attack and urge authorities to do everything in their power to ensure adequate protection of judicial officials and other civilians seeking access to judicial institutions,” Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, said in a statement.

“Judicial officials and other civilians can never be considered combatants and thus should not be targeted,” the UN envoy stressed.

This incident, which UNAMA said represents a pattern of attacks that have intensified in severity and increased in frequency, follows last week’s attack on the provincial court compound in Ghazni city that killed four civilians and injured 15 others. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack.

Since the beginning of January, UNAMA has verified 18 separate attacks targeting judges, prosecutors and judicial staff, which have resulted in 32 civilian deaths and 67 civilians injured. The Taliban claimed responsibility for 11 of these incidents.

The UN mission reiterated that international humanitarian law, to which all parties to the armed conflict are bound, prohibits attacks directed against civilians and the use of indiscriminate violence.

UNAMA also expressed its condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in these attacks and wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.