UN calls on warring Afghan parties to respect healthcare facilities

KABUL, 24th February, 2016 (WAM) -- The United Nations has called on all warring parties in the Afghan conflict to abide by their obligations and to respect the provision of healthcare.

Mark Bowden, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, said, "Medical facilities, medical personnel, and those who are receiving treatment for disease or conflict-related injuries, must never be placed at risk, let alone subject to attack. The work that humanitarian and medical personnel carry out must not be restricted, and all parties to the conflict must abstain from actions that may place these persons or facilities at risk."

The call came days after a suicide attack near a health facility in Parwan and a raid of security forces on a clinic in Maidan Wardak province. The incidents were mentioned by the United Nations as a reference which said that on 22nd February, in the Sia Gird District of Parwan Province, a suicide attacker targeting Afghan security forces detonated an IED, improvised explosive device, close to the entrance of the district health clinic, killing seven civilians and injuring seven others, including three boys.

The UN restated that intentional attacks on or in the vicinity of education facilities and hospitals, or on their personnel, committed as part of the ongoing conflict, constitute violations and abuses of international human rights law, breaches of international humanitarian law, and also violate the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

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