UNITED NATIONS: The targeting of educational facilities during armed conflict is “a war crime”, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Friday after a bomb detonated near the entrance to Kabul University, in the country’s capital.
The University “was (the) intentional focus of attack”, UNAMA tweeted, saying that blast killed at least “eight civilians” and wounded 33 others.
News reports cited Kabul Police Chief Spokesperson, Ferdous Faramarz, in reporting that two vehicles caught fire after the blast, while police defused a second bomb near the explosion site.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the Kabul bombing, UNAMA said that Taliban militants had claimed an attack in Kandahar, also on Friday, carried out against the National Afghan Police (ANP). Blasts in a residential area caused “major civilian harm”, UNAMA said.
“Initial findings show scores of civilian casualties”, UNAMA tweeted, adding, “Indiscriminate blasts in civilian areas must stop”.
Earlier this month, a car bomb exploded in Kabul during rush hour, claiming three lives and injuring more than 90 people.
Detonated by militants, who then stormed the building, a seven-hour gun battle ensued. Scores of children were among the casualties, as they sat in nearby classrooms.
UNAMA responded with a tweet, declaring that the UN was “appalled” by the bomb attack, and “demands an end to indiscriminate blasts in civilian areas”.
Friday’s attacks come just a few days after ground-breaking talks in Doha, Qatar, between Afghan political leaders and Taliban representatives, in search of a lasting peace to end nearly two decades of fighting. According to news reports, both sides had called for a major reduction in civilian casualties.