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Afghanistan: ambulance used in attack on police training compound

07-04-2011 News Release 11/85

Geneva/Kabul (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly condemns the use of an ambulance – intended for transporting wounded and sick persons – in a suicide attack that took place today at an Afghan National Police regional training centre on the outskirts of Kandahar city, southern Afghanistan.

Several members of the security forces were killed and others injured during the assault.

"Using an ambulance for the purpose of deceiving the adversary in carrying out an attack constitutes perfidy. This is strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law and is totally unacceptable," said Jacques de Maio, the ICRC's head of operations for South Asia.

By violating the neutrality of health care services, such acts of deception endanger medical personnel engaged in caring for the injured and sick in hospitals, clinics and rural health posts. "They undermine the delivery of and access to health care, already precarious for ordinary Afghans in many parts of the country as a result of the conflict," added Mr de Maio.

For further information, please contact:
Christian Cardon, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 26 or +41 79 251 93 02
Jessica Barry, ICRC Kabul, tel: +93700 282 719