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UN provides emergency aid to Afghans affected by recent military operations

31 August 2008 – A United Nations team has delivered emergency relief assistance to some 900 people in the country's western Herat province who were affected the recent military operations which the world body said resulted in the deaths of numerous civilians, including many children.

Last week the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that an investigation by its human rights team found that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, during operations carried out by international and Afghan military forces on 21 August in Herat's Shindand district.

This weekend a UN emergency relief team, accompanied by local government officials, delivered three truckloads of essential food, cooking utensils, shelter materials and medicines to some 150 families in the area.

“At this point in time the primary concern of all of us has to be the welfare of the people of Shindand district,” said Kai Eide, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.

“I have asked all UN agencies working in Afghanistan to step up support to the local authorities as they work to help the survivors. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and stand ready to assist with all ongoing efforts to support those who need our help the most,” he stated.

The UN team also met with village elders to listen to their needs and concerns as recovery efforts continue.

Mr. Eide has called on the international and Afghan military forces to “thoroughly review” the conduct of the operation to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again.


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