6 December 2011 â€“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations mission in Afghanistan have strongly condemned todayâ€™s explosions in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif that have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries of civilians who had gathered for a Shiite religious observance.
Both explosions happened around midday, according to media reports. A suicide bomber struck a shrine packed with worshippers in the capital, Kabul, reportedly killing at least 54 people, while another blast struck near a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing four.
The attacks occurred on the Shiite holiday of Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammedâ€™s grandson, Hussein.
â€œThe Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms such indiscriminate attacks against civilians and extends his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wounded,â€ his spokesperson said in a statement.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed its heartfelt condolences and stressed that the attacks have no justification.
â€œSuch illegal and indiscriminate attacks are completely unacceptable and those responsible are fully accountable for the deaths and injuries of civilians caused by such brutal acts,â€ the mission stated.
The attacks come a day after leaders from over 100 countries and international organizations met in Bonn, Germany, to pledge their continued support for Afghanistan in its efforts to build a better, peaceful and prosperous life for its people.