Press Releases

     

    SG/SM/9060
    AFG/237
    9 December 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL PROFOUNDLY SADDENED
    BY CHILDREN’S DEATHS IN AFGHANISTAN AIR STRIKES

    NEW YORK, 8 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sunday, 7 December:

    The Secretary-General was profoundly saddened by reports that nine children were killed in Ghazni, Afghanistan, apparently as a result of an air strike carried out by coalition forces targeting a Taliban leader.  The Secretary-General offers his sincerest condolences to the families of the children who were killed.

    The Secretary-General has noted that the coalition will conduct an investigation into this tragic incident and urges that the investigation be comprehensive and that its results be made public.  Given that this is not the first time innocents have been killed as a result of coalition air strikes in Afghanistan, the Secretary-General urges that the findings of the investigation include measures to ensure that such tragic mistakes are not repeated.

    The Secretary-General stresses that the protection of civilians in armed conflict is an obligation of all parties.  The fight against terrorism cannot be won at the expense of innocent lives.

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