15 October 2016
MENA Region: Increased Terrorist Attacks On Soft Targets
(Oslo) – Defend International raises concern about the increasing number of terrorist attacks on soft targets and urges the international community to redefine its objectives to meet the challenges posed by terrorism.
It has been another terrible month with civilians bearing the brunt of the armed violence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya, where the prolonged conflicts have allowed terrorism to thrive.
On October 3, a terrorist attack targeted a wedding hall in the Kurdish city of Hasaka, killing over 22 people and injuring 120. Furthermore, over 20 people were wounded and at least six killed on October 14 when an explosion occurred at a funeral service in the Yemeni city of Marib, east of the capital Sanaa. A similar terrorist attack occurred on October 15 in northern Baghdad, where an ISIS suicide bomber struck a funeral tent, killing at least 35 civilians and wounding more than 63.
Thus, the list of terrorist attacks on soft targets in the Middle East and other regions is shocking and long. The victims are usually the elderly, women and children. DI is concerned that the unresolved armed conflicts are claiming more lives, displacing more families, ruining more livelihoods and undermining what little trust remains between communities, making peace an elusive objective.
As peace activists, DI members strive to bring attention back to the importance of finding peaceful solutions to the current conflicts. And yet, we acknowledge that peace will remain an unrealized dream without justice and without respect for human rights that are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Violence and injustice must end and the rule of law must be brought about. For that to happen, the international community must take decisive action to meet the challenges posed by terrorism.
Photo of Baghdad funeral tent © AP Photo/Karim Kadim