Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Statement by Deputy Special Representative Chris Alexander on attacks resulting in civilian casualties

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Kabul, 13 November 2008 - Over the past 24 hours Afghanistan has seen three attacks in which civilians have been the principal victims. UNAMA condemns these acts unequivocally. Those responsible have violated the fundamental right of Afghans to life and security of person.

Yesterday's incident in Kandahar in which acid was used to attack girl students on their way to school is a hideous crime, which has appalled people inside Afghanistan and around the world. It represents a grave violation of Afghan law and tradition and international human rights conventions. It is antithetical to the universal values we all share and contrary to previous assurances Afghans have been given that there would not be further attacks against schools or students.

Yesterday's large explosion in Kandahar resulted in the death of civilians and injuries to members of the Provincial Council and many others. Today's attack in Nangarhar, which took place in a crowded market area, has inflicted enormous suffering in an otherwise peaceful community.

Insurgent and anti-government groups bear responsibility for ensuring civilians are kept out of harm's way - one for which flagrant disregard has been shown in these cases. We call for an end to this cycle of senseless violence.