United Nations, Jun 11 (PTI) India on Friday said it has 'grave concern' about the deliberate targeting of religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan as the UN Security Council strongly condemned the 'atrocious and cowardly' attack by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) against humanitarian mine clearance workers in the war-torn country this week.
Ten workers from the Hazara community were killed in the attack, injuring 14 others. The ISKP is an entity affiliated with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).
In a press statement, the 15-nation Security Council “condemned in the strongest terms the atrocious and cowardly targeted attack” that took place in Baghlan-e-Markazi, Afghanistan on June 8.
India 'has grave concern about the deliberate targeting of religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan,' India's Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted as the UNSC Press Statement was issued.
The victims belonged to the HALO Trust de-mining organisation, one of several such bomb-clearance organisations in Afghanistan.
The Council members underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice The Security Council members reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
'Deliberately targeting humanitarian workers is especially abhorrent and must be condemned,' the UNSC said.
They urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
Expressing their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan, Council members reiterated that any act of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
Hazaras are part of the Shia community who live in Afghanistan and Balochistan province of Pakistan. They have been often targeted by the Sunni militants.
In the last few years, hundreds of Hazaras have been killed in either suicide bomb attacks, planted bomb blasts or target killings.
Hazaras are disproportionately targeted by sectarian violence as they are easily identifiable due to their distinctive physical appearance. PTI YAS IND