Taliban intentionally hit civilian areas at Kandahar airport: UNAMA
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Sunday condemned the Taliban’s attack at the Spanish Embassy compound in Kabul “as an attack against the entire international community.”
Yesterday’s attack at the compound claimed the lives of at least two civilians with several more injured, as well as caused extensive damage to the Embassy complex, the UN mission said in a statement.
Local officials had said at least seven people had been killed in the attack near the Spanish embassy. The dead included four Afghan police officers and two others, including a foreigner.
The Spanish Interior Ministry had announced a Spanish policeman was killed and a second Spanish officer later died from injuries sustained in the battle, bringing the total death toll up to seven.
Seven civilians and two policemen were wounded, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior. Twelve foreign citizens were rescued by Afghan forces during the operation, the ministry had said.
The Taliban had claimed credit for the attack that came two days after another massive Taliban attack on the main airport in the southern city of Kandahar.
The airport attack lasted more than 24 hours and killed more than 50 people, including 38 civilians, 10 Afghan soldiers and two police officers. In its statement, UNAMA called upon all parties to immediately cease targeting civilians.
“Civilians may never be deliberately targeted in any location. Such attacks are explicitly prohibited under international humanitarian law,” the UNAMA statement said.
It said the attack in Kabul was the second major incident within a week for which the Taliban claimed responsibility where they deliberately targeted civilians causing significant loss of civilian life.
It said the attack on the Kandahar airport intentionally targeted civilian areas of the base. As many as 39 civilians, including children, were killed and a further 23 injured when Taliban fighters dismounted their vehicles in the bazaar and opened fire on shopkeepers and customers.
The fighting reportedly continued in the residential areas of the base accommodating the families of Afghan security forces and airport staff. Civilian relatives of military personnel can never be classified as combatants.
UNAMA reiterated that civilians might never be the object of an attack at any time and in any place. The UN mission expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and a speedy recovery to the injured.
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