UN Chief Condemns Deadly Attack Against Staff in Northern Afghanistan

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–1 April 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned today’s attack in northern Afghanistan in which a group of demonstrators entered a United Nations compound and killed at least seven people, including a number of UN staff members.

The attack took place at an operations centre for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, according to a statement released by the mission’s spokesperson Dan McNorton.

UNAMA has confirmed that three international staff working with the mission were killed, as well as four Nepalese Gurkha soldiers who were serving as security guards at the operations centre. An unknown number of Afghans were also killed.

“This was an outrageous and cowardly attack against UN staff, which cannot be justified under any circumstances and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Mr. Ban told journalists in Nairobi, where he is making an official visit.

“I extend my condolences to those killed or wounded and their families,” the Secretary-General added.

Mr. McNorton said the mission was working to ascertain all the facts and to take care of affected staff.

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and the head of UNAMA, is travelling to Mazar-i-Sharif to assess the situation.

Mr. Ban said Mr. de Mistura was also tasked with taking any necessary measures to ensure the safety of UN staff in the strife-torn country.

Meanwhile, members of the Security Council are scheduled to discuss the attack later today at UN Headquarters in New York.