UN concerned at deliberate attacks on medical personnel in Afghanistan

The United Nations issued a special report in which it expressed deep concern over the deliberate attacks on medical personnel and medical facilities in Afghanistan on the background of the pandemic COVID-19, to the release on the website of the UN Mission for assistance to Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The report covers attacks in Afghanistan that have plagued the health system for the period from March 11 (the date the outbreak was declared COVID-19 pandemic) to 23 may (the date of the announcement by the Taliban about a three-day cease-fire in Afghanistan).

It is noted that in total there were 15 attacks that have plagued the health care system. Of these, 12 are classed as a focused, three - as the incidents causing unintentional harm. According to the UN, responsibility for most of the attacks are the responsibility of the Taliban. In turn, the National defence forces and security of Afghanistan carried out the three deliberate attacks. As noted, it is unknown which side is responsible for the "heinous" attack – an attack on a maternity ward in a hospital in Kabul.

Deliberate attacks on health facilities are prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes, stated in the release.

The attack on the hospital occurred on may 12. A suicide bomber detonated at the entrance to the hospital in Kabul, after the hospital building was stormed by militants. Only the part of the medical staff had to leave the building. The attack on the hospital, 24 people were killed, at least 20 were injured.

In Afghanistan there is a confrontation between government forces and militants of the radical movement "Taliban", which previously captured significant territory in rural areas of the country and launched a major offensive against the city. Also in the country has increased the influence of the terrorist group "Islamic state."* National forces of defense and security of Afghanistan is conducting nationwide joint operations to combat terrorism.

At the end of February at a ceremony in Qatar, the US and the Taliban signed their first for more than 18 years of war a peace agreement, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 14 months and the beginning of an intra-Afghan dialogue in March after a transaction for the exchange of prisoners.

*A terrorist organization banned in Russia.