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UN urges Taliban to enforce own ban on IEDs.

KABUL (PAN): The United Nations, condemning the killing of at least 18 women in a roadside explosion in northern Afghanistan, on Sunday urged the Taliban to enforce their own ban on use of anti-personnel mines.

The deaths occurred on Friday morning when a civilian bus taking guests to a wedding celebration struck an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a busy road. Another 15 civilians were injured, including six children, seven women and two men.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) offered its condolences to the families of those killed and wished a speedy recovery for those injured.

"Although the Taliban through its leader Mullah Omar banned the use of anti-personnel landmines in 1998 denouncing such weapons as un-Islamic and anti-human, anti-government elements continue to use these landmine-like IEDs with devastating harm to civilians," it said.

A statement from the UN mission urged the Taliban leadership to publicly reiterate a ban on the weapons and to stop their use. It said IEDs are by far the biggest killer of civilians in Afghanistan's conflict.

"UNAMA's tracking of civilian casualties reveals that IEDs killed 340 civilians and injured a further 599 over the past nine months, an increase of almost 30 percent compared to the same period last year," the statement added.

JEin KubiEi, the special representative of the secretary general, stressed: "Any use of this heinous weapon should cease immediately. I repeat once again UNAMA's many calls to all anti-government elements to protect and respect the lives of all Afghan civilians."

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Oct 21, 2012
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