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UN peace push after attack on international troops

Afghanistan: UN envoy pledges continued peace push after attack on international troops

Voicing shock at Saturday's attack on German troops serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the senior United Nations envoy to the country has pledged to continue pushing for peace there.

"People who attacked the ISAF bus transporting German military cannot be friends of Afghanistan," said Manoel de Almeida e Silva, a spokesman for Lakhdar Brahimi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. "If they are Afghans, they cannot be patriotic Afghans," he added in remarks to the press in Kabul today.

"All of us in the international community who are committed to supporting Afghanistan will continue to do so," the spokesman stressed. "The Special Representative is absolutely convinced that Afghanistan with the support of their friends will overcome these anti-Afghan forces that are still out there intent on destroying the peace process."

Through the spokesman, Mr. Brahimi also expressed hope for the prompt recovery of those injured yesterday when the ISAF bus was attacked. The envoy also "expresses his most heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives," Mr. de Almeida e Silva said.

Asked whether the attack would trigger new security measures by the UN, the spokesman pointed out that strict guidelines are already in place. At the same time, he cautioned that "this act of yesterday in all likelihood is not a one-off event."

"It is an environment that has its risks that's why we're all here in order to help the Afghans get into a new phase for this country," he said. "We'll continue to review security on a case-by-case basis, committed to our mandate to work here."

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