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UN urges protection of civilians as Taliban overrun Kunduz

(Last Updated On: September 30, 2015)

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As Taliban collapse Kunduz, the United Nations in Afghanistan urges all parties to protect civilians and respect human rights.

“I am deeply concerned about the situation in Kunduz following the Taliban’s attack on the city,” a UN statement quoting Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA read. “The reports of extrajudicial executions, including of healthcare workers, abductions, denial of medical care and restrictions on movement out of the city are particularly disturbing.”

The statement says Preliminary information indicates that the current fighting has caused more than 100 civilian deaths and injuries, and there are concerns the number of casualties will rise. In addition, the United Nations has received reports that up to 6,000 civilians have fled the city due to the fighting.

“The protection of civilians must remain at the core of any response to the current situation in Kunduz and Taliban and Afghan security forces must take all feasible actions to prevent civilian casualties,” said Mark Bowden, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan. “Parties to the conflict must not use improvised explosive devices and indirect heavy weapons in populated areas of the city. Wounded persons must be allowed access to medical facilities for treatment and parties to the conflict must not restrict the work of humanitarian and medical personnel.”

The United Nations in Afghanistan reiterates its unwavering commitment to the Afghan people and expresses its continued support of initiatives to strengthen the protection of civilians and the promotion of human rights.

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