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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Five Afghan security force members killed in attack on UN convoy

Local reports describe one of the vehicles veering off the road into a river

Afghan security forces patrolling city streets in Afghanistan. EPA
Afghan security forces patrolling city streets in Afghanistan. EPA

Five members of an Afghan security detail were killed on Thursday morning in a strike on a United Nations road convoy on the outskirts of Kabul, the world body said.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq told The National that no members of the UN assistance mission to Afghanistan, known as Unama, were hurt in the strike in the Surobi area on the eastern fringes of the capital. The attackers were not identified.

“Unama informs us that five Afghan security personnel escorting a UN road mission were killed this morning near Kabul,” Mr Haq said.

“No UN staff members were hurt in the incident. Unama is transmitting condolences to Afghan authorities.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Unama said the attackers hit an Afghan Directorate of Protection Service vehicle that was “escorting a UN convoy”.

According to local reports, the attack on a two-vehicle UN convoy was along the motorway between Kabul and Jalalabad, a major city nearly 120km to the east.

Afghanistan’s Ariana News network reported that one of the vehicles careened off the road and plunged into a river after the driver was shot.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters it was not clear which armed group carried out the attack. Both the Taliban and Islamic State-aligned militants are known to have forces in the area.

Afghanistan has suffered an upsurge in violence and a recent spate of high-profile killings of officials, judges, journalists and activists as the US and other foreign forces leave the country amid slow-moving peace talks.

Unama was launched in 2002 and operated a team of more than 1,000 foreigners and locals, headed by Deborah Lyons, a Canadian diplomat.

Updated: February 11, 2021 09:29 PM

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