UNSC condemns IS attack on Peshawar Shia mosque

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The UN Security Council has condemned a suicide bombing that killed 62 people inside a Shia mosque in Peshawar for which the Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) terror group has claimed responsibility.

“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack that took place at the Koocha Risaldar Mosque in Peshawar,” Council President Lana Zaki Nusseibeh said in a press statement issued on Sunday on behalf of all the 15 members.

IS-K said that an Afghan suicide bomber carried out the attack which took place on Friday.

A Sunni group, IS-K and its parent organisation Islamic State, consider Shias enemies of the faith and target them frequently.

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” Nusseibeh said.

She is the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, which holds the Council’s presidency this month.

The press statement expresses the unanimous sentiments of the members of the Council, which is sometimes arrived at through consultations without formal meetings and is less formal than a resolution.

On Friday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and tweeted that “houses of worship should be havens, not targets”.

Nusseibeh said that the Council members “underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Pakistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard”.

In October the IS-K bombed the Bibi Fatima Mosque and the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing about 50 people in each of the attacks a week apart.

According to the US State Department’s International Report on Religious Freedom issued last year, other terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan staged attacks on Shia Muslims, including the predominantly Shia Hazara community in Pakistan.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed @arulouis)

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