The United States strongly condemns the suicide attack at the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul February 7 which killed at least 21 Afghans, including several women working for the court, and wounded more than 40 other people.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and promised future assaults against Afghanistan’s judiciary.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer called the bombing a “cowardly attack,” and condemned it “in the strongest possible terms.” He also praised the Afghan security forces for their rapid response.
U.S. Embassy Kabul’s Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Hugo Llorens said in a statement that the attack was a strike against “the very foundation of Afghan democracy and the rule law” by terrorists who “have no regard for human life and a flagrant hatred of a democratic system of justice.”
On February 8, six members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ICRC, were shot and killed in Jowzjan province while they were delivering supplies to areas hit by devastating snowstorms and avalanches. The whereabouts of two other aid workers from the same convoy are unknown.
ICRC President Peter Maurer said “These staff members were simply doing their duty, selflessly trying to help and support the local community,".
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the ICRC staff members. Provincial authorities suspect that Islamic State terrorists, who are active in the area, were the perpetrators.
A recent report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, recorded 11,400 civilian casualties last year -- 7,920 injuries and 3,498 deaths -- caused by the violent conflict in Afghanistan -- the majority by anti-government extremists, mainly the Taliban. UNAMA noted that civilian casualties caused by terrorists linked to the Islamic State rose significantly, from 82 in 2015 to 899 last year -- a tenfold increase.
“Afghanistan deserves peace and security,” said Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Llorens. “My government and the people of the United States are and will remain committed to standing with the people of Afghanistan and its elected representatives in their fight against terrorism and in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future supported by justice and the rule of law. We stand with the Government of National Unity and people of Afghanistan in bringing an end to these barbarous attacks against its people.”