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Afghanistan: UN Urges Calm After Unrest

Afghanistan: UN Urges Calm After Unrest Apparantly Sparked by US Convoy Accident

New York, May 29 2006 1:00PM

Reacting to violence in Kabul apparently sparked by a road accident involving a United States convoy and local people, the United Nations operation in Afghanistan today urged calm in the face of what a spokesman for the world body termed a "tragedy."

"The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is greatly saddened by the violence we have seen in Kabul today," spokesman Adrian Edwards said in a formal statement, calling for a determination of the facts.

The statement pointed to "widespread destruction? including in some instances against UN and related premises" and said this "suggests the need for a very thorough investigation into all aspects of the day's events."

Mr. Edwards said the UN family's thoughts "are with those who died today, with those who have been hurt or otherwise harmed, and with the families of all those affected" and called on all concerned "to respect the need for calm, and to recognize that one tragic incident must not be allowed to lead to another."

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Edwards said the events were triggered by a serious traffic incident in Kabul "involving a US convoy and local people."

Asked about a reported 30 people killed during rioting and killing following the road accident, the spokesman said there had been civilian casualties, adding that "the priority here must be on providing proper care for the injured."

He pointed out that, "With incidents like this people will understandably be upset, but this makes it all the more important that there be calm. One tragedy must not be allowed to translate into another."

"People are upset, but it's very important for everyone's sake that calm and sensible minds prevail," he said.


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