Onno van Manen, Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country Director, said:
“Children are once again paying the price for nearly two decades of conflict in Afghanistan. Today’s brutal attack in Kabul injured at least 50 children, some of them seriously, when part of their primary school collapsed following a car bomb nearby.
“Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child. Save the Children has found that a staggering 80 per cent of conflict-related child deaths in Afghanistan are the result of explosive weapons. Children’s smaller bodies sustain more serious injuries than adults, particularly to the head and chest. These injuries can kill or cause life-changing disabilities. Furthermore, children who are exposed to explosive weapons often continue to present symptoms of depression and anxiety which can stay with them for many years to come.
“It’s utterly deplorable that children going about their normal day at school should have to suffer in such a way, and it is yet another example of the war that is being waged on children – not just in Afghanistan, but worldwide. Some 420 million children are living in conflict affected areas, and it is up to all governments to stop this war on children.
It is therefore vital that the all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan respect international rules and norms and do everything they can to protect children in conflict. This means not fighting in or near schools, which must always remain safe places of learning, free from violence.”
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