Seventeen Afghan civilians were reportedly killed by Taliban insurgents at a party in a Taliban-controlled area of Helmand province.
Reports say the bodies of two women and 15 men were found by the side of a road in the southern province of Helmand. They were either beheaded or had their throats cut. Many speculated that the Talibans were responsible for the killings.
The victims were reportedly killed for attending a late night dancing and music party when the Taliban attacked.
Today, the United Nations expressed strong condemnation of the “gruesome” murder of 17 Afghan civilians, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says the mission “strongly condemns the gruesome murder of the Afghan civilians.
“This criminal act is unjustifiable and totally disregards the sanctity of human life.” -UNAMA
UNAMA stressed that the killing of civilians is a clear violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws and has called for perpetrators of such crimes to be brought to justice.
“The United Nations family in Afghanistan expresses deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims.” – UNAMA
UNAMA is mandated to assist and support the government of Afghanistan in its state-building and development efforts, and coordinate and harmonise international assistance to the country.
UNAMA has been in place since March 2002, when following the fall of the Taliban, the Bonn Agreement established an interim Government and prescribed the drafting of a new constitution and the holding of elections.
In June 2011, US President Barack Obama announced a drawdown of 10,000 U.S. troops, by the end of 2011, with an additional 23,000 troops leaving by summer 2012. Currently, around 80,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan. Many other countries are also in Afghanistan, supporting the effort, training Afghans and fighting the Taliban.
In the past year, a number of coalition troops, including several Australians and Americans, have been killed by Afghans they were training.
The Taliban, toppled in late 2001, has waged an insurgency against the Afghan administration and the international troops currently deployed in the country for several years.