UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto stated [text] on Sunday that the recent suicide bombings in Kabul amounted to a war crime. On Saturday two suicide bombers targeted [CNN report] Shiite Hazaras who were holding a peaceful demonstration to push for more access to electricity in the region. Over 260 civilians were reportedly wounded from the attack. Yamamoto denounced the bombings and claimed that any attack targeting a large group of civilians counts as a war crime. While the Taliban has been the cause of recent bombings and kidnappings in Kabul, ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. As ISIS increases its presence in the region, the Taliban continues to be Kabul’s primary security concern.
Civilian casualties continue to be a primary issue in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. In June three Taliban gunmen attacked [JURIST report] a court building in eastern Afghanistan, killing seven people including a newly appointed chief prosecutor. In February UNAMA reported [JURIST report] that civilian casualties in Afghanistan had reached a record high 11,000 in 2015. In November the US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] and Pentagon officials completed their investigation [JURIST report] into the October 3 bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) [advocacy website] hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and announced [statement] that it was an “avoidable accident caused primarily by human error.” In October MSF called for an independent investigation [JURIST report] into the attack by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. Also in October the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an investigation [JURIST report] into the Kunduz hospital attack and for the results of an investigation to be made public. Several days prior to the hospital attack, the UN rights leader also requested that all parties in the Taliban attack in Kunduz attempt to keep civilians out of harm [JURIST report]. In August the UN said that a new report shows a significant increase in the number of women and children being hurt or killed [JURIST report] in Afghanistan’s war against the Taliban and other insurgents.