A United Nations compound in Herat, Afghanistan was attacked on Friday with rocket propelled grenades and gunfire, killing an Afghan police guard and wounding other officers.
“The attack targeting entrances of the clearly marked United Nations facility was carried out by anti-government elements,” a U.N. statement said.
Deborah Lyons, the head of U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, called the attack “deplorable.”
“[W]e condemn it in the strongest terms,” said Lyons, who is also the secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan. “Our first thoughts are with the family of the officer slain and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”
The U.N. statement reiterated that such attacks against its personnel and facilities are “prohibited under international law and may amount to war crimes.”
On their part, the Taliban issued a statement saying the UNAMA compound in Herat was not under any threat.
“It is possible that (UNAMA) guards could have sustained harm in cross-fire due to close proximity of the office to the fighting but it has now been secured as Mujahidin arrived at the scene,” said a tweet by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.
Moreover, the U.N. voiced concerns over escalating violence in Kandahar amidst ongoing Taliban attacks on city.
Deeply concerned by escalating violence in & around #Kandahar amidst ongoing Taliban attacks on city. More than 230 civilians injured since 16 July. Numbers likely much higher. Credible reports of scores of civilians killed. Working to establish facts on civilian harm. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ukooHofpvN
— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) July 30, 2021
Hence, it called on parties “to exercise maximum restraint and take all possible measures to protect civilians from further harm.”
In the same vein, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Taliban’s violent attacks against the Afghan people was deeply troubling and not a good sign for the future of the country.
Describing reports of attacks on civilians as “deeply, deeply troubling”, Blinken said: “An Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people would become a pariah state.
“There’s only one path, and that’s at the negotiating table, to resolve the conflict peacefully,” he stressed.