STATEMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS ASSISTANCE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN ATTRIBUTABLE TO BO ASPLUND, ACTING SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON YESTERDAY’S ATTACK AGAINST DEMINERS IN BALKH PROVINCE

 

I am appalled and saddened to have learnt of an attack against a team of deminers in Balkh province working for Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), an implementing partner for the United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA).

Yesterday afternoon, a team of 12 deminers from ATC had been clearing land in Chimtal district when two unknown assailants on a motorcycle opened fire, killing five staff members and injuring seven more.

Deminers put their lives at risk every day to ensure the safety of Afghanistan’s communities. It is abhorrent that anyone would target individuals working to free the people of Afghanistan from the scourge of landmines.

I want to pay tribute to these brave men, my thoughts and deepest condolences are with the families of those affected by this attack.