Nepal: Red Cross helps victims of bus attack, urges respect for civilians

Following the attack on a civilian bus in Chitwanthat killed 34 persons and injured many more on Monday 6 June, local Red Cross volunteers based at a nearby school were on the spot within minutes to administer first aid. Nepal Red Cross Society ambulances then took the wounded to hospitals.

The ICRC sent two teams to the area to assess needs. On 7 and 8 June they visited BharatpurHospitaland the Medical College Teaching Hospital. They also met with civilian and military authorities, representatives of the Nepal Red Cross Society and survivors.

Although the medical facilities were able to cope with the influx, doctors welcomed the ICRC donationof three dressing sets that included antiseptic solution, gauze and bandages. Most of the wounded were treated and discharged on the day of the attack, but 13 patients remain hospitalized.

This terrible event proved again how crucial it is to have a strong and dedicated National Red Cross Society operating across the country. The ICRC works closely with the Nepal Red Cross Society, supports its activities and explains to both parties to the conflict the Society's role as a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization.

The ICRC deplores the loss of civilian lives and extends condolences to the victims' families. It reminds the parties to the conflict of their obligation to distinguish clearly between military targets and civilian objects. In particular, it urges the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist, which acknowledged responsibility for Monday's devastating attack, to respect this fundamental principle of international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:

Giuseppe Pogliari, ICRC Kathmandu, tel. ++977 1 44 82 285
Vincent Lusser, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 24 26
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