| TEHRAN, 9 March 2017(UNIC)- The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemns Wednesday’s complex attack on Kabul’s Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital.
The hospital treats sick and wounded members of the armed forces and their family members, and is the largest medical military facility in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday morning, attackers reportedly disguised as medical doctors detonated a suicide vehicle borne IED at the entrance gate to the hospital, after which several attackers armed with AK-47s, grenades and suicide vests entered the facility. The armed attackers proceeded to target patients and medical workers before Afghan security forces ended the assault.
Islamic State operatives claimed responsibility for the attack. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) continues to verify the numbers of civilian casualties, which are reportedly high.
“This egregious and morally reprehensible attack targeted people at their most vulnerable, while they were receiving treatment in the hospital, and also targeted the medical staff caring for them,” said Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA.
“This cowardly attack reflects a fundamental rejection of the most basic principles of humanity,” she said. “Without question, it amounts to an atrocity, and the perpetrators must be held accountable.”
UNAMA stresses that attacks on hospitals and the murder or intentional injury of persons taking no active part in hostilities – including sick and wounded members of the armed forces and its medical staff – are violations of international humanitarian law that may amount to war crimes.
UNAMA urges all parties to the conflict to respect and protect all medical workers, clinics and hospitals in compliance with international humanitarian law.
“This atrocity shows how Afghan people’s desire and hope for a peaceful future is interrupted by unspeakable violence over and over again,” said Ms Kardel. “The UN family in Afghanistan stands in support of all Afghans, who continue to demonstrate resilience and determination in their efforts to bring about a peaceful future for the country.”
UNAMA expresses its condolences to the families and colleagues of those killed in the attack and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.