KABUL, 12th November, 2015 (WAM) — The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, has condemned the murder of seven civilians, including two women, one girl and two boys, by anti-Government elements in the southern province of Zabul.

“The deliberate murder of civilian hostages, including women and children, is particularly abhorrent,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, in a news statement.

“These senseless murders may amount to war crimes and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Mr. Haysom added.

The seven civilians were abducted last month and executed between 6th and 8th November in Arghandab district, while armed clashes were reported there between two rival groups of anti-Government elements.

According to UNAMA, the murders of civilians, as well as the taking of civilian hostages, are serious violations of international humanitarian law, which all parties to the armed conflict, including all anti-Government elements, are required to uphold.

Meanwhile, via the statement, the UN Mission expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims.