At least five UN staff killed in attack on Kabul guest house

28 Oct 2009

At least five UN staff killed in attack on Kabul guest house

KABUL - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his top envoy in Afghanistan have strongly condemned today’s attack on a guest house in Kabul that claimed the lives of at least five staff members and injured several others, and pledged that it will not deter the world body’s work in the country.

“This is very dark day for the UN in Afghanistan,” Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN mission (UNAMA), said in a statement.

The UN said it could not at this stage provide the names or nationalities of the victims of attack, which was reportedly carried out early this morning by three Taliban militants with suicide vests, grenades and machine guns.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the despicable and brutal killing, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility in an apparent effort to disrupt the second round of the presidential election,” said Mr. Ban.

Afghans are scheduled to go to the polls on 7 November for the presidential run-off between incumbent Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah.

“This indeed is a loss to all members of the UN family working together to support Afghanistan at this critical juncture,” the Secretary-General stated.

Noting that the UN has been working in the country for more than half a century, Mr. Eide said such incidents are not only an attack against the world body but also against the Afghan people and those who need the UN’s help the most.

“This attack will not deter the UN from continuing all its work to reconstruct a war torn country and to build a better future for all Afghans,” he pledged.