ICRC strongly condemns Afghan wedding attack
The international Red Cross on Thursday strongly condemned an attack on a wedding in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar which left more than 100 people dead or injured.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that together with staff from the Afghan health ministry it had helped to treat 81 patients, including 16 children who were injured in Wednesday's explosion.
The hospital also recorded 19 deaths, said the ICRC, adding that the actual death toll was "likely to be considerably higher."
A senior official from the city hospital told AFP earlier that at least 39 people had been killed and 73 wounded.
"The ICRC condemns in the strongest terms such attacks, which demonstrate the deliberate intent to maximise death and injury among civilians," said Jacques de Maio, the ICRC's head of operations for South Asia.
"This clearly violates the very basic principles of the laws of war," as he urged combattants to spare civilians from harm.
"Last night's bombing is a shocking reminder of the extent to which civilians are exposed to the rapidly intensifying armed violence in southern Afghanistan," added the aid worker.
The cause of the devastating blast remained unclear, especially as insurgent attacks in the province, the heartland of the Taliban, are normally aimed at military or police targets and generally cause fewer casualties.
© 2010 AFP