Submitted by ub on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 21:34

The United Nations strongly condemned today the “gruesome” murder of 17 Afghan civilians, some of whom were reportedly beheaded, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

According to media reports, 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, and some showed signs of beatings or had gunshot wounds. They were reportedly killed by the Taliban for attending a party.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) “strongly condemns the gruesome murder of 17 Afghan civilians,” said a statement issued in the capital, Kabul.

“This criminal act is unjustifiable and totally disregards the sanctity of human life,” added the Mission, which has repeatedly stated 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 added.