UN team finalizing report on bombing in Afghanistan, UN spokesman says

UN team finalizing report on bombing in Afghanistan, UN spokesman says

The senior United Nations official in Afghanistan has requested more work on a preliminary report concerning a bombing incident earlier this month in Uruzgan, a UN spokesman said today in New York.

An initial report of the 1 July incident had been leaked to the press, but the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, believed that some matters presented as fact were not adequately documented, spokesman Fred Eckhard said at a press briefing. The UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) was working on a revised document and was expected to comment on the matter on Tuesday.

While declining to comment on the substance of the revised report until it is issued, Mr. Eckhard stressed that Mr. Brahimi did not want to change the objective facts of the team’s work but to substantiate them.

The “quick preliminary report” had been produced after UNAMA dispatched a fact-finding team, including local authorities, to the affected area to assess humanitarian needs. The report dealt with the situation on the ground and an estimate of the requirements for humanitarian assistance to villages affected by the 1 July bombing.

“The short preliminary report contained some figures regarding the level of casualties that were not fully documented and judgments that were not sufficiently substantiated,” a spokesman with the Mission in Kabul said, adding that a comprehensive report was being finalized that would provide a more detailed and accurate picture of the circumstances and consequences of the bombing.

While the findings appeared to indicate that the humanitarian and reconstruction requirements would be modest, the Mission emphasized the need to ensure that “the protection of civilian lives becomes a primary concern in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.”