Kabul attacks: India tells UNSC to stand united against terror

Strongly condemning the terrorist strikes in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, India has told the United Nations Security Council that these attacks reinforce the need for the world to stand unitedly against terrorism and all those who provide sanctuaries to terrorists.

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday, killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 United States troops.

“Let me begin by strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Kabul. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Security Council Ambassador T S Tirumurti said on Thursday.

Speaking in the UNSC briefing on Ethiopia, Tirumurti said the attacks in Kabul ‘reinforce the need for the world to stand unitedly against terrorism and all those who provide sanctuaries to terrorists’.

US President Joe Biden has vowed to ‘hunt’ down the terrorists and make them ‘pay’ for the deadly attacks outside the Kabul airport.

“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm notice, we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

The president said IS-K (The Islamic State-Khorasan Province) was behind the gruesome attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and at a hotel nearby.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, before heading into the UNSC meeting that discussed the humanitarian situation in Tigray, told reporters that he expressed in the ‘strongest possible way’ his total condemnation about the horrific terrorist attack in Kabul.

He expressed condolences to the families of all those that ‘perished — Afghans and those that were helping there, the Afghans, and died serving the lives of others. I have also asked my Special Representative [Deborah Lyons] to convey directly to Kabul my deep condolences to the Afghan people’.

The UN chief is meeting the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US — on Monday and the situation in Afghanistan is expected to be discussed.

When asked what he is hoping to achieve on Monday with his meeting with the P5, he said ‘there are normal meetings that take place in the context of the work of the UN’.

Earlier, spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing on Thursday that the Kabul attack ‘underscores the volatility’ of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan.

“The Secretary-General is following with great concern the ongoing situation in Kabul and especially at the airport. He condemns this terrorist attack which killed and injured a number of civilians and extends his deep condolences to the families of those killed. He stands in solidarity and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured,” he said.

“This incident underscores the volatility of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan but also strengthens our resolve as we continue to deliver urgent assistance across the country in support of the Afghan people,” Dujarric said.

Responding to questions on the situation in Afghanistan, Dujarric said the UN is conducting headcount of the casualties and those injured and added that ‘as far as we know at this moment, there is no casualties of UN staff’.

“I think we did have a few number of staff around the airport, but they’re all reported safe and sound,” he said.

Dujarric said the UN has not at this point ‘counted ourselves the number of killed and wounded. We’re basing our information on what we’re getting from local sources and other places’.

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