The Office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned last night’s attack at the Jawadia Mosque in Herat which killed at least 31 civilians, including two children, and injured more than 60 others.
Two attackers entered a mosque during the evening prayer time when at least 300 worshipers were present, opening fire and detonated two improvised explosive devices.
“This attack deliberately targeting civilians at prayer can have no justification whatsoever,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Fanning terror and sectarian violence against a specific community is abhorrent and those responsible must be brought to account.”
The Special Representative’s statement further urges the Afghan authorities to take “Appropriate security measures in place” in order to maintain the security for places of worship and religious festivals.
“During 2016, UNAMA recorded four separate attacks against Shia mosques and religious gatherings. Islamic State – Khorasan province claimed responsibility for two of those attacks.”
Yesterday’s attack in Herat is the fifth attack this year against religious places in Afghanistan, killing a total of at least 44 civilians and injuring at least 88, according to UNAMA.
Four of the attacks occurred in Herat and the other in Kabul. Daesh claimed responsibility for two of these attacks.
“International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including places of worship,” the UNAMA statement said.