Two Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) staffers were killed on Saturday, June 27, in a bomb blast in Kabul as violence in the country rises despite a United States-brokered peace process.
A bomb attached to a vehicle killed two of them at around 7.45 am in the capital city's Botkhak when the two staffers were on their way to work.
Issuing a statement, the AIHRC said that a 24-year-old donor coordinator Fatima Khalil and 41-year-old driver Ahmad Jawed Folad were killed by an explosive device while in an AIHRC vehicle on the way to its office today. The blast was caused by a magnetic Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
"It is intolerable, assassinating human rights defenders is a war crime in the context of armed conflict," the AIHRC said, adding that staff had previously been the target of attacks.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack at the time of filing the report. A Taliban spokesman denied the group was involved.
The attack triggered widespread condemnation from rights and aid groups in the country. It comes at a sensitive time amidst heightened violence around Afghanistan, including growing attacks against officials in urban centres.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the killing, saying there could be "no justification for attacks against human rights defenders".
Taking to Twitter, the UNAMA said, "Immediate investigation (is) needed with perpetrators held to account."
(With agency inputs)