Afghanistan

United Nations strongly condemns attack on medical facility in Kabul

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21 May 2011, Kabul - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack on the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul today that resulted in many civilian casualties, including at least six deaths.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the 400 bed-hospital, which is the largest medical military facility in the country, when medical students were having lunch.

Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital provides medical services to members of the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) and their families, and is also a medical faculty.

A spokesperson for the Taliban, on behalf of the group, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

UNAMA stresses that attacks on medical workers and hospitals are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law. All medical personnel and facilities must be respected and protected in all circumstances.

Further, directing an attack against a zone established to shelter wounded and sick persons, and civilians from the effects of hostilities, is also illegal and prohibited.

As parties to the conflict, all anti-Government elements have clear responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to not attack them.