UN calls for redoubled peace efforts after hotel bombing

The United Nations today called for a redoubling of efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan after yesterday’s deadly hotel suicide bombing targeting foreigners and Afghan civilians working together to help the violence-wracked country.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attack, which killed at least eight people and injured a number of others at the Serena Hotel in Kabul, the capital.

“Among the victims were Afghan security guards and hotel staff, whose bravery prevented the death toll from being much higher, as well as members of the international community who were assisting development efforts in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement.

“The attack will not diminish the commitment of the international community to Afghanistan, and that efforts must be redoubled to bring stability to the country and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice,” he added.

Mr. Ban’s Acting Special Representative in Afghanistan, Bo Asplund, called the attack an atrocity deliberately targeting foreigners helping to rebuild the country and their Afghan colleagues.

“The international community has been present here for many years, enjoying the hospitality and generosity of its Afghan hosts,” he said in a statement.

“Its work is driven by the shared belief that peace and progress must prevail over war and suffering. This was an attack on those values, and a senseless crime under both national and international laws,” he added, calling on “all in the community, Afghan and foreign, to join with us in redoubling our commitment to the cause of peace.”

Noting that the Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, the Security Council underlined the need to bring those behind “this reprehensible act of terrorism” to justice.

In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, which holds the rotating presidency for January, the 15-member body “reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse the path toward peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and the international community.”