WFP trucks attacked in Afghanistan 2008-05-19 21:51:17   Print

    KABUL, May 19 (Xinhua) -- An aid convoy of the UN World Food Program (WFP) has been attacked by militants in south Afghanistan, the UN Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Monday.

    A convoy of 79 commercial trucks loaded with WFP food left southern Afghan city of Kandahar for western Herat and Nimroz provinces on May 17, Aleem Siddique, a UNAMA spokesman told a weekly press briefing here.

    "The convoy, which was escorted by the Afghan National Police, was attacked by anti-government elements using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades on the main ring road in Maiwand district of Kandahar province," he said.

    In the attack, he added, two trucks loaded with WFP food were hit by rocket-propelled grenades and burned down, which resulted in the loss of 84 tons of wheat for 10,500 people.

    "Thankfully, no human casualties have been reported," the UNAMAspokesman further said.

    In a separate incident on May 8, a commercial truck with 48 tons of WFP wheat for 6,000 people went missing on the way from Kandahar to Herat, he added.

    According to WFP, more than 30 attacks against commercial vehicles or convoys carrying WFP food were reported in 2007 and a total of 870 tons of food, valued at 730,000 U.S. dollars, were lost last year.

    In at least four of the incidents last year, vehicle crew members and Afghan police escorts were either killed or wounded.

    Condemning the "unscrupulous theft and pointless destruction" of life-saving food aid, Siddique said, "This is particularly upsetting in light of the current food security situation we are facing in Afghanistan." He said UNAMA wanted an immediate end to the attacks. 

Editor: An Lu
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