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UN Security Council sees Taliban attacks on civilians as war crimes

UN Security Council sees Taliban attacks on civilians as war crimes

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has condemned “in the strongest terms” deliberate attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and all instances of terrorism in a resolution passed on Tuesday. The resolution approved by all 15 members of the UNSC also termed as “deplorable” the July 30 attack on the UN compound in Herat.

The Council members said that all parties are required to protect civilians under international humanitarian law and that deliberate attacks targeting civilians and U.N. personnel and compounds “may constitute war crimes.” It also said that there was an urgent and imperative need to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The members reaffirmed that there is no military solution to the conflict, and declared that they do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate.

The UN's most powerful body called on the Afghan government and the Taliban "to engage meaningfully in an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in order to make urgent progress towards a political settlement and a ceasefire".

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The council reaffirmed that “there is no military solution to the conflict” and stressed “the need for full, equal and meaningful participation of women” in peace negotiations.

"The members of the Security Council recognized that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that aims at a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, as well as an inclusive, just, and realistic political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan," according to the statement.

The council's statement came a day after a powerful explosion ripped through Kabul on Tuesday near the Afghanistan capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign embassies are located.

At least three people were killed and seven wounded in the attack, the country's health ministry said. A senior Afghanistan security official said the blast appeared to have been caused by a car bomb which had the residence of a member of parliament as its target.

The UN security council is expected to hold another meeting on Friday to discuss the worsening situation in Afghanistan, news agency Associated Press reported citing diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity.