Turkey condemns ‘heinous attack’ in Afghanistan
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Relatives and family members attend during the funeral of a victim who was killed in Friday's deadly attack on memorial ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 7, 2020. (AP Photo)
Turkey condemned March 6's attack in the Afghan capital Kabul that killed at least 27 people during a gathering attended by top Afghan government officials.
"We are deeply saddened to receive the news that many people have lost their lives and have been injured as a result of an armed attack that took place in Kabul today [March 6] at a commemoration ceremony, which was attended by many leading Afghan politicians," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"We strongly condemn this heinous attack, which came about at a critical time when peace and reconciliation efforts gained momentum in Afghanistan," the ministry added.
The attack came just days after the U.S. and Taliban reached a landmark peace deal aimed at ending violence in the war-torn country.
"We reiterate that nothing can be achieved by means of violence and terrorist acts,” the Turkish ministry said.
"We call on all Afghan people and their political representatives to act in unity and solidarity. We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, speedy recovery to the injured and extend our condolences to the friendly and brotherly people of Afghanistan," the statement read.
The Afghan Interior Ministry said that at least 50 people were also injured at the attack.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, High Peace Council chairman Abdul Karim Khalili, former Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and a number of other figures fled the attack site, Abdullah's spokesman told Anadolu Agency.
The Taliban quickly rejected any involvement.
Afghan President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani called it an "inhumane attack against national unity."
The gathering was held to mark the death anniversary of Shia leader Abdul Ali Mazari.
In 2019, a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Mazari – the slain leader of the country's Shia Hazara community allegedly killed by the Taliban in 1995 – was also attacked in a similar fashion, leaving 11 people dead. ISIL claimed that attack.