AFGHANISTAN: Children Caught In The Crossfire

New York, 19 June 2007– Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, raises concerns about the worsening security situation in Afghanistan and its impact on children.

Anti-government forces allegedly killed eleven children during a suicide bomb attack against the Coalition Forces on Friday June 15, in Tirin Kot, Uruzgain. In addition, they have been targeting schools and school children including the recent attack near Kabul during which two school girls were killed. “The anti-government forces are also suspected of using children as human shields, added Ms. Coomaraswamy.

The Special Representative also expresses her deep concern about the recent reports that Coalition Forces accidentally killed seven Afghan children in an airstrike in the Zarghun Shah district. During another incident in Mangai, three children were killed and three were injured. “Children are caught in the crossfire and the number of victims is escalating”, she said.

Ms. Coomaraswmay urges all sides to take all necessary steps to protect children and prevent incidents of similar nature and to respect International humanitarian Law.

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For further information, please contact:

Laurence Gerard, Liaison Officer, OSRSG Children and Armed Conflict, UNHQ, New York. Phone: 1 212 963 0984 – gerardl@un.org