Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the suicide attack on the United Nations compound in Afghanistan`s western city of Herat, where members of staff of the UN mission in the country and other agencies are based.
There were no casualties among the UN staff, but some security guards were wounded, the spokesperson of the Secretary-General said in a statement. A number of assailants were killed in the attack, and the UN is conducting a full investigation.
Earlier the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also condemned the attack and stressed that the Organization was in the country to support efforts to restore peace and provide humanitarian and development assistance to the people. The attack did not disrupt UN activities in Herat, UNAMA`s spokesperson said.
Mr. Ban wholeheartedly commends the immediate in extremis support rendered by units of the Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) whose prompt action stabilized the situation and undoubtedly saved the lives of United Nations staff members in the compound. "
The Secretary-General emphasized that the UN will continue to maintain its presence and programmes in Herat for the benefit of the population and in support of the Afghan authorities.
UNAMA also expressed its gratitude to the internal international security guards for their bravery and courage in responding to the attack.
On behalf of all who serve the UN in Afghanistan, we further thank the Afghan National Police Force, the Afghan security forces and Government authorities, as well as the International Security Assistance Force, for their assistance in protecting UN personnel and thwarting this attack, " UNAMA said in its statement.
The mission expressed sympathy for the security officers injured in the attack and their families.
According to media reports, a group of assailants dressed as local women in disguise attacked the compound minutes before midday, local time, sparking a fire fight with guards and the police during which the raiders were killed. One of the attackers in reported to have blown himself up with an explosive.