UN to Taliban: Attacking Hospitals Violates International Humanitarian Law

At least 6 people were killed and another 26 wounded today when a suicide bomber struck an Afghan military hospital in Kabul. Most of the dead and injured were medical students who were eating lunch in a tent outside the hospital when the bomber detonated his explosive vest in their midst.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the first serious act of violence in Afghanistan’s capital since the insurgent group declared the start of its annual warm weather offensive in late April.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was quick to condemn the attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital. In a statement released just hours after the bombing, UNAMA reminded the insurgents that “attacks on medical workers and hospitals are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law. All medical personnel and facilities must be respected and protected in all circumstances.”

Although the Taliban have occasionally threatened and harassed workers at rural medical clinics in the past, today’s attack in Kabul is the first time in the past 9 years that the Taliban have sent a suicide bomber to attack a medical facility.