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Responding to the deaths of 24 people and the wounding of 42 when a car packed with explosives rammed into a bus in western Kabul this morning, in an attack claimed by the Taliban, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher, Horia Mosadiq, said:

“This horrific attack deliberately targeted civilians and constitutes a war crime under international law. It was just yesterday that the people of Kabul were marking the one-year anniversary of one of the deadliest attacks in the city’s history. Today, they are forced to mourn further deaths.

“Nearly 16 years after the conflict in Afghanistan began, civilians are increasingly paying the greatest price. A record number of civilians have been killed in the first half of this year, with women and children being the worst affected. And neither the Afghan government nor the international community is paying enough attention to their plight.

“The Afghan government must put the protection of people’s lives at the heart of its policies. Meanwhile countries in the European Union must stop making the callous claim that Afghanistan is safe for refugees and asylum seekers to be returned to.”

Background

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), a total of 1,662 civilians were killed between January 1 and June 30 this year, marking the highest figure for civilian casualties recorded by the UN body.