UN chief Antonio Guterres ‘outraged’ by terror attacks in Afghanistan

United Nations: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed outrage over the series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, with a top UN official in the country saying the attacks on journalists ahead of World Press Freedom Day is a “direct assault on the freedom of expression”.

Twin suicide blasts, claimed by the ISIS, in the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday killed 25 people, including 10 journalists, in what Reporters Without Borders said was the most lethal single attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban. In a third attack 11 children were killed and 16 people wounded, including foreign and Afghan security force members, when a suicide attacker exploded his bomb-laden car near a convoy in the southern province of Kandahar. Top UN officials underscored the need to bring those behind the attacks to justice.

The attacks in Kabul and Kandahar caused numerous casualties among civilians, emergency responders, and school children, Guterres said in a statement attributable to his spokesperson. “The deliberate targeting of journalists in the attack highlights once again the risks media professionals face in carrying out their essential work. Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to justice,” the UN chief said. The Secretary-General extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

Strongly condemning the terrorist attacks, senior United Nations officials also stressed the need to bring those behind the attacks to justice. “These attacks caused untold human suffering to Afghan families; UNAMA condemns them in the strongest possible terms,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a separate news release.

He said is “outraged” by the attack which appears to have deliberately targeted journalists, coming just ahead of World Press Freedom Day. This, he said, is a “direct assault on the freedom of expression.” “There is no justification whatsoever for such attacks. Those who have organised and enabled these attacks must be brought to justice and held to account,” the UN envoy said.

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