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Afghanistan suicide bombing condemned by UN Security Council

Staff Sgt. Joe Lemm, a member of the

Staff Sgt. Joe Lemm, a member of the Air National Guard, with his wife, Christine, at a surprise welcome home party in West Harrison on July 23, 2013. Lemm, who was also an NYPD detective, was one of six U.S. servicemen killed near the U.S.-run Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Photo Credit: News 12 Westchester

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned the suicide bombing in Afghanistan a day after the attack that killed six U.S. service members, including a Coram father on his fourth military tour and a 15-year NYPD veteran.

“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on 21st December near Bagram Air Field, which resulted in the deaths of at least six U.S. service members as well as a number of wounded persons, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility,” read the 15-member council’s press statement.

The strike came amid renewed concern over worsening security in Afghanistan and on the same day that the Security Council voted to extend for another 18 months several sanctions against the Taliban, which has claimed responsibility or been linked to continued attacks.

The sanctions include restrictions on travel, finances and arms trade.

“The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern at the threats posed by the Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates, illegal and armed groups to the local population, national defense and security forces, and international presence in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

On Monday, as the Security Council debated the renewal of sanctions, Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN Michele Sison said violence had been on the rise for several weeks in the central Asian country.

“As we all know, the Taliban and other anti-government groups continue to pose a serious security threat. We all watched in horror the Taliban attacks of recent weeks,” she said, citing Monday’s attack near Bagram Air Field. The bombing killed Staff Sgt. Louis Michael Bonacasa and Staff Sgt. Joseph Lemm, both Air National Guardsmen with the 105th Airlift Wing out of upstate Newburgh.

Bonacasa, 31, of Coram, was on his last tour of duty, having previously served in Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He leaves a wife and daughter, who turned 5 on Thursday.

Lemm, 45, who lived in West Harrison with his wife and two children, also was a detective assigned to the Bronx Warrant Squad.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

“This follows the Dec. 9th raid on Kandahar airport and the December 12 attack in Kabul, which targeted a guest house attached to the Spanish Embassy,” she added. “Scores of innocent Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded in these and other attacks, including two Spanish police officers killed in the December 12th attack — for whose deaths I extend our deepest condolences.”

Sison, who said the United States has about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, also reiterated the apology extended by President Barack Obama for the U.S. forces’ bombing by mistake of a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, in Kunduz, in October.

“The members of the Security Council reiterated that no violent or terrorist acts can reverse the path towards Afghan-led peace, democracy and stability in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and by the international community,” read the Security Council statement.

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