Ban Ki-Moon condemns string of fatal attacks in Afghanistan


United Nations : United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the recent spate of violence in Afghanistan, including the weekend attack on police trainers that claimed more than 30 lives and constituted the deadliest attack of its kind in the nation’s capital since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

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“The Secretary-General condemns these acts in the strongest possible terms, which reflect an inexcusable disregard for the value of human life,� said his spokesperson in a statement.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bomb attack against an Afghan Police Academy bus in Kabul, in which 30 Afghans were killed and dozens more injured.

The statement adds that “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.�

While noting the efforts of the Afghan and international forces to counter the threat posed by insurgent and other anti-Government elements, the Secretary-General “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.�

Mr. Ban calls on the Afghan Government and the international community to take “the necessary measures to address the security situation,� adding that in doing so, “the protection of civilian lives must remain the guiding principle.�

The recent wave of violence, and particularly its impact on children, has also sparked reaction from other senior UN officials including Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, and his Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Chris Alexander.

“Those responsible for these attacks – those who have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians this year in cold blood – are committing brutal crimes. These are crimes against the holy religion of Islam; they are crimes against humanity,� said Mr. Alexander.