KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – No less than 50 people were killed – many of them children – when a suicide bomber attacked a volleyball match Sunday.
On November 23, a suicide attacker detonated an improvised explosive device in a sports field in the Yahyakhail district of Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Paktika. At least 50 civilians who were attending a volleyball match were immediately killed while another 60 were injured. According to reports, many children were among the dead and injured.
2014 has been the deadliest year for civilians in Afghanistan since 2009. The UN mission in the country has documented a rising number of civilian casualties attributed, in large part, to increased ground engagements and the increased use of improvised explosive devices – both of which are killing and injuring more Afghan civilians than previously documented by UNAMA.
In its statement, UNAMA reiterated that the indiscriminate use of explosives in areas crowded by civilians is “a serious violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”
“All parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan – including all Anti-Government Elements – are bound to uphold their legal obligations to at all times avoid harm to civilians,” it added.
For its part, the Security Council equally condemned the “reprehensible acts of terrorism” committed in Afghanistan in a press statement while also reaffirming that terrorism is “criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation.”
The 15-member Council declared their determination to combat terrorism “by all means” and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adding that Afghanistan’s process towards peace and stability would be irreversible in the face of such heinous acts.