UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned “in the strongest terms” the “horrific” attack against a Shia mosque in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, noting that it represents the third assault on a religious institution, in less than a week.
“Attacks that deliberately target civilians exercising the right to freely practice their religion are violations of fundamental human rights and international humanitarian law”, the UN chief said in a statement released by his Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.
“The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” the statement said.
According to news reports, at least 100 people have been martyred or injured after a suicide bomber targeted the mosque during Friday prayers.
The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes those injured, a speedy recovery.
The attack, according to the reports, was claimed by the Daesh Khorasan Province, which has previously targeted the Shia Muslim community in Afghanistan, and is opposed to the Taliban, who seized power in mid-August.
Militants from IKSP, also carried out the deadly attack at Kabul airport last month, which killed 13 United States military personnel, and 169 Afghan civilians.
The UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, tweeted that it was deeply concerned over the recent spate of attacks, which apart from the bombing of Sayyidabad mosque on Friday, included an incident claimed by IKSP on Sunday near a mosque in Kabul, and Wednesday’s attack on a school in Khost, which is so far, unclaimed.
“Today’s incident is part of a disturbing pattern of violence”, UNAMA said.
In a tweet, the Geneva-based UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that the bombings and targeting of houses of worship, “highlights the vulnerability of ordinary Afghans, especially religious minorities. Our hearts are with the victims and we hope for justice.”