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Killing innocents is the biggest sin, ulema say
KABUL – Despite calls by religious scholars and local and international organisations to stop terror attacks during Ramadan, insurgents killed hundreds and injured hundreds in Afghanistan more during Islam’s high holy month.
Terrorists used roadside bombs and suicide attacks, killing more than 100 civilians in Kunduz, Herat, and Nimroz provinces on the 26th and 27th days of Ramadan alone.
One of those attacks was an August 14 bombing in front of the Nimroz central provincial hospital in Zaranj, where civilians visiting patients were victimised, said Munir Ahmad, a resident of Nimroz Province.
The injured in that attack included a 12-year-old boy who was selling mobile phone cards to make enough money buy food for his fasting mother, Munir said. A number of Afghan Facebook users shared the boy’s image on their pages and denounced this bombing.
The situation makes Munir cry every time he remembers it, he said.
Ramadan is month of worship, not homicide
The insurgent attacks mostly killed innocent, fasting Muslims who were trying hard to earn a living, many Afghans say.
Seventeen fasting labourers who were going to work in the early morning hours were killed by a landmine under a bridge in Paghman District, Kabul, said Aimal, a district resident. Most of the victims’ families are now without anyone else to provide for them, Aimal said.
“How are the militants going to answer to God?” Aimal said through tears. “Those victims were the only breadwinners for their families, whose wives and children were impatiently waiting for their return.”
Killing innocents has no religious justification, said Maulawi Muhammad Salim Akbari, a religious scholar in Kabul. Those who murder the innocent, as well as those who order those deeds, will face the harshest punishment in the Hereafter, said Akbari.
Deliberately killing Muslims without a religious justification, such as the death penalty for homicide, is one of the greatest sins, he added. The punishment for murder is eternal hellfire, according to the Koran.
Attacks during Ramadan
Insurgent attacks increased during the month of Ramadan, Siddiq Siddiqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed.
Authorities arrested 174 militant suspects last month and discovered 47 mines and 770kg of explosives in 22 police operations, he added.
The increased violence came even though the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, as well as the UN Mission in Kabul, had called upon all sides to halt violence during Ramadan.
On a related note, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced the prevention of two militant attacks, one directed at Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili, the other at the National Assembly. Authorities are holding five suspects, including a Pakistani citizen, in connection with the plots, said Shafiqullah Taheri, deputy NDS spokesman.
In addition, security forces discovered a 21-tonne shipment of explosives in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan, preventing a terrorist disaster, the NDS said in an August 16 statement.