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Stop Attacking Afghan Civilians, UN Envoy Begs

After a bomb explodes in a central business district of Kabul, Afghanistan, onlookers gather at the scene, July 13, 2015.

The United Nations has called for an immediate end to attacks targeting civilians in Afghanistan, where at least 45 have been killed and dozens more wounded in the past two days.

Civilians have been targeted in recent bombings in Afghanistan.
Civilians have been targeted in recent bombings in Afghanistan.

"The cold statistics of civilian casualties do not adequately capture the horror these bombs cause, the torn bodies of children, wives and daughters, sons and fathers," said Nicolas Haysom, the U.N. envoy to Kabul. "… These are the real consequences of those acts of terror."

Haysom demanded the perpetrators of this "war crime" be held accountable. He called the attacks cynical, cowardly acts of terror, saying they are "bereft of humanity, in violation of national and international law, and contrary to the precepts and principles of Islam."

A suicide car bomb attack in southeastern Khost province Sunday killed at least 33 people, including 12 children and three women. A roadside bomb explosion the same day in central Kapsia province left 12 civilians dead.

On Monday, an improvised explosive device went off in a major mosque in Pul-e-Khomri, northern Baghlan province, wounding more than 40 civilians. Haysom said many of them are in critical condition.

The blast ripped through a crowd of around 500 civilians peacefully gathered for iftar or breaking the fast in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The victims – poor city residents – had come to collect oil and rice being distributed by the government.

Haysom said such attacks highlight the perpetrators’ intent to destroy lives and spread terror among civilians.

Civilian casualties have seen unprecedented increase in the first half of 2015. A recent survey Afghanistan's Tolo television stations claimed nearly 1,500 security personnel and around 1,000 civilians have died in Taliban attacks this year.

The violence came days after Afghan government and Taliban representatives held the first face-to-face talks in 14 years, raising hopes that a sustained reconciliation process could help end hostilities in Afghanistan.