Suicide bomb attack kills clerics in Afghanistan

A roadblock in Kabul after the attack on 4 June 2018 A roadblock in Kabul after the attack on 4 June 2018 REUTERS/ Omar Sobhani

27 June 2018

A gathering of Ulema Aghan Council members was targeted by the Islamic State

On 4 June 2018, a motorcycle suicide bomber killed 14 people during a gathering of clerics in Kabul, Afghanistan. Thousands of members of the Ulema Afghan Council, an Islamic religious body, had gathered in the capital to discuss recent developments in the conflict against the Taliban and the Islamic State, as well as the current political situation. This meeting resulted in a fatwa, a religious ruling, outlawing suicide bombings and asking for the restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Seven of the victims were clerics, four were security officers and three unknown civilians.

This was the first time in the history of the 17 years’ old conflict against the extremist groups that a group of clerics have openly outlawed suicide bombings, stating that “using humans, the noblest of all creatures, as a tool of war is a disrespect to humanity”. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through their news agency, while the Taliban denied any involvement. Over the years, both extremist groups have claimed various attacks on clerics and religious scholars, whom they consider as traitors of the Islamic law.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, condemned the terrorist attack through an official statement shortly after it took place. His spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, stated that “targeting civilians is a clear violation of international law, including human rights law”. He also offered condolences to the families of the victims on behalf of the Secretary-General and reminded them that the United Nations “stands with the people and Government of Afghanistan as they endeavour to build a peaceful future for their country”.


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