The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today releases its preliminary findings in to the suicide attack in Kabul on 4 January that killed 13 civilians and injured an additional 19.
The attack, claimed by Islamic State, took place in the evening when the bomber detonated his body-borne improvised explosive device after the arrival of anti-riot police at a violent disturbance between security officials and shopkeepers that had been ongoing for several hours in the east of the capital.
Twelve of the 13 slain were police officials, performing legitimate law enforcement functions of helping to restore order and safety for civilians during a violent incident.
UNAMA reminds all parties that Afghan National Police personnel are regarded as civilians unless they are directly participating in hostilities. The officers killed in the attack were not engaged in the armed conflict. Civilians may never be the object of an attack at any time or in any place.
The use of indiscriminate explosive devices in civilian populated areas, in circumstances almost certain to cause immense suffering to civilians, may amount to war crimes.
UNAMA unequivocally condemns the attack.
The Acting-head of UNAMA, Toby Lanzer, extends the condolences of everyone in the Mission to those grieving, as well as wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.