February 6, 2023

Six Afghan ICRC workers ‘killed by Islamic State’

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From BBC

The Red Cross has worked in Afghanistan through many years of war

Six Afghan international Red Cross workers have been killed by suspected Islamic State (IS) group gunmen in the province of Jowzjan, officials say.

The workers were shot in the Qush Tepa area, the provincial governor said.

Two others are unaccounted for, feared abducted by IS, he said. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the deaths but said it did not know who was to blame.

The ICRC said it was putting its work in Afghanistan on temporary hold.

“We need to understand more clearly what happened,” ICRC Director of Operations Dominik Stillhart said.

“But… this is one of the most critical humanitarian contexts and we will definitely do everything to continue our operations there.”

IS has been in Afghanistan since 2015, claiming attacks in Kabul and the east. But there has been no immediate claim for the attack in Jowzjan.

The ICRC has spent three decades assisting sick people in remote areas of Afghanistan

The ICRC has had an uninterrupted presence in Afghanistan for 30 years and the organisation said in a tweet that it was “shocked and devastated” by the news. President Peter Maurer said it was a deliberate attack on his staff which “we condemn in the strongest possible terms”.

The team which came under attack by “unknown armed men” comprised three drivers and five field officers, the statement said.

Government officials said the staff were transporting supplies including livestock materials to areas affected by recent deadly snowstorms when their convoy was attacked.

File photo of pedestrian passing vehicle at the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Kabul.Image copyright AFP
A child suffering from bronchial asthma being treated by the ICRC in Kandahar, AfghanistanImage copyrightI CRC

For more on this story go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38908312

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