Statement Attributable to the Spokesman of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan

In the last few days we have seen acts of violence against the Afghan people and those who are working along with them to rebuild this country.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) is deeply shocked at the explosion yesterday in a popular Kandahar market which left several bystanders injured. He is also dismayed at the attack on Thursday against a convoy of the Afghan Central Statistics Office, which killed a driver and wounded ten others working for the Statistics Office at Baca district in Farah province.

These are utterly condemnable criminal acts and the perpetrators have no justification for attacking innocent people. Afghanistan is on the path of reconstruction and Afghans, their government and their international partners will not be deterred by these despicable acts.

The Special Representative sends his deepest condolences to family and friends of the Government worker killed and prays forth prompt recovery of those who were wounded in the attacks.

In a separate development, the Special Representative and the UN family in Afghanistan have been profoundly distressed at the news that nine children were killed Saturday in Ghazi as a result of coalition military action. The Special Representative, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, expresses our deepest felt condolences to the families of these nine children.

The protection of civilians is an obligation that must be observed by all. This incident, which follows similar incidents, adds to the sense of insecurity and fear in the country.

The Special Representative takes note of the coalition announcement that they have begun an investigation. He urges such inquiry to be swift and its results made public. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General hopes that lesson will be learned from this episode so it is not repeated.

[Following the briefing, the Spokesman learned that out of the ten wounded as a result of the attack on the convoy of the Afghan Central Statistics Office, another has died and a third is in critical condition.]