SRSG Zerrougui condemns Child Casualties in Eastern Afghanistan
Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, June 2, 2013
New York, 3 June 2013 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, condemns two deadly attacks that have killed at least 19 people, including 12 children, in Eastern Afghanistan.
“Afghan children are once again victims of indiscriminate suicide bombings and attacks using improvised explosive devices,” said Ms. Zerrougui.
Initial reports indicate that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a boys’ high school in Gardez, the capital of Paktya province. The bomber was allegedly targeting a passing convoy of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Ten boys died in the blast and at least fifteen civilians, including schoolchildren, were injured.
In another attack in Mihtarlam, the capital of Laghman province, an improvised explosive device reportedly killed seven members of the same family, including two children.
“Such violence against children cannot continue,” said the Special Representative. “I call on all parties to take necessary precautions to protect children and their schools.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) indicated that 125 civilians have died from conflict-related violence in the past two weeks. An increase of almost 25% compared to the same period last year.
In 2012, over 500 Afghan children died following suicide bombings or in attacks using improvised explosive devices.