Secretary-General, concerned over growing violence in Afghanistan, stresses importance of protecting civilian lives

SG/SM/11052, AFG/295

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General has learned with great concern about the recent increase in violence in Afghanistan, in particular the massive bomb attack against an Afghan Police Academy bus in Kabul on Sunday. More than 30 Afghans were killed in the incident and dozens more injured. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest of its kind in Afghanistan's capital city since their fall in 2001.

Over the past few days, there has been a spate of similar attacks in other parts of the country, reportedly claiming the lives of dozens of civilians, including 11 children. The Secretary-General condemns these acts in the strongest possible terms, which reflect an inexcusable disregard for the value of human life. The Secretary-General notes the efforts of the Afghan and international forces to counter the threat posed by insurgent and other anti-Government elements. However, he has learned with deep sadness of reports of the death of seven Afghan children resulting from a Coalition air strike in Paktika Province on Sunday.

The Secretary-General sends his deep condolences to the Government of Afghanistan and to the bereaved families of all the victims of this past weekend's violence. The Secretary-General calls upon the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to take the necessary measures to address the security situation. In doing so, the protection of civilian lives must remain the guiding principle.

For information media - not an official record