Government of Canada Condemns Kabul Attack

(No. 223 - August 15, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on this morning’s attack in Kabul:

"Canada strongly condemns the attack that occurred outside of the headquarters of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"We call for calm in the face of such a cowardly and despicable act. It is clear that insurgent forces have no regard for the lives of Afghan men, women and children. We encourage all Afghans not to be deterred from exercising their hard-won right to determine the future of their country by participating in the upcoming presidential election."

One Canadian civilian in Kabul sustained non-life threatening injuries and one Afghan employee of the Embassy of Canada was seriously injured in the attack. Their families have been notified and for privacy reasons, no further information is being released.

"The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of our personnel very seriously and is making every effort to assist any Canadians who may be affected,” said Canada’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, William Crosbie.

"We would like to express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. We also wish a full and prompt recovery to those who were injured,” Mr. Crosbie said.

Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the democratically-elected Afghan government and as part of an UN-mandated, NATO-led mission. Canada’s continued objective is to help Afghans to build a stable and secure country based on the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Canadians in Kabul who may have been affected by the attack and require emergency consular assistance should contact Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885. They may also send an email to: sos@international.gc.ca.

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Kabul should contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-800-387-3124; those in Ottawa should dial 613-943-1055. They may also send an email to the address above.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874