In 2020, Afghans were not just hit by a global pandemic, but also continued to endure an endless conflict that wounds and kills so many people.
At least 27 people were killed and approximately 29 injured in an attack in Kabul this morning, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry. The incident took place during a commemoration ceremony for the death of the Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari, who was killed by the Taliban in 1995. They have denied responsibility for today’s events.
The attack was launched from a nearby building and a series of explosions began when the president of the High Peace Council, Karim Khalili, began his speech. Many senior political figures were present at the ceremony, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
“Last year, during the same anniversary, during the same commemoration, mortar shells caused 115 civilian casualties, including 11 fatalities. Today, we received 30 wounded patients at the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims, including 3 children. Many patients are in a serious condition, and one of them has died. People keep arriving.” says Marco Puntin, EMERGENCY’s Programme Coordinator in Afghanistan.
Today’s attack took place just six days after the Taliban and United States signed a peace agreement.
“Throughout 2019, there was significant volatility in the spikes of violence, which coincided with the ups and downs in talks between the Taliban and the United States. The first half of the year was characterised by an intense campaign of airstrikes. The third quarter was a period of unprecedented violence, according to UNAMA, before we witnessed a decrease during the final quarter and the start of 2020. It continues to be difficult to conceive of ‘peace’ in Afghanistan at the moment.” Marco concludes.