Deaths of dozens of children kill  prospects of peace talks in Afghanistan

Afghan Pres. appoints investigating committee on attack

KABUL — An aerial attack on an Afghan religious ceremony at a Madrassa in Kunduz has resulted in the deaths of dozens of children as young as eleven and sparked off a new controversy in Afghanistan. Some reports suggest that the attack may have killed the prospect for peace with Taliban and increased sympathies for Taliban.

The Afghan Government released a list of 13 Taliban leaders killed in the attack and initially denied that there were any civilian deaths but media reports and eye-witness have claimed deaths of dozens of civilians particularly children who had just completed a Quran memorizing ceremony and were being awarded certificates.

Local tribal leaders have released several photos of children killed and confirm that only there were no Taliban leaders but religious Ulemas who had come to grace the children on Dastaar Bandi (awarding turbans to those who complete Quran memorising competition).

On Tuesday Afghan President Ashraf Ghai appointed an Investigation Team to probe the attack on Dasht-e-Archi are of Kunduz. An Afghan official was also quoted as saying that the attack seems to be designed to kill the prospect of peace with Taliban.

“To illustrate the nature of the harm sustained to civilians in the incident, President Ghani has assigned a commission” to carry out a “broad-based investigation and report back about findings of their investigation to the national security council within a week,” a statement issued by Afghan President’s office said on Tuesday.

The investigation team will be headed up by Gen Khudaidad Hazara, the Inspector General of the National Security Council, and include presidential advisors Tahir Safai and Sayed Sulaiman Hamid.  Pro-Taliban tribal leaders blame the attack on anti-Taliban lobby and claimed that the attack was launched intentionally to sabotage President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer to Taliban.


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