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ICRC suspends mission in Afghanistan

Red Cross temporarily stopped its mission after six aid workers killed by unknown gunmen

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday suspended operations in Afghanistan after it its six aid workers killed by militant on Wednesday in northern Jawzjan province. Furthermore, two other employees of the ICRC are missing, possible taken by the unknown gunmen.

“The ICRC has puts its operations “on hold” in Afghanistan for the time being, to allow a deeper comprehension of this terrible incident.” ICRC Spokesman Ahmad RaminAyaz, told Afghanistan

He furthered, “the ICRC needs time to analyses and asses the ongoing situation and the incident that claimed six ICRC staffer lives.

“There is a need to evaluate overall security situation, before to decide to continue its operations in Afghanistan,” he added.

A statement issued by ICRC, said six staff members of the ICRC have been shot and killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday. Two staff members are unaccounted for.

The team, composed of three drivers and five field officers, was on its way to deliver much-needed livestock materials in an area south of the town of Shibergan in Jawzan province. Their convoy was attacked by unknown armed men.

“This is a despicable act. Nothing can justify the murder of our colleagues and dear friends,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, Monica Zanarelli.  “At this point, it’s premature for us to determine the impact of this appalling incident on our operations in Afghanistan. We want to collect ourselves as a team and support each other in processing this incomprehensible act and finding our two unaccounted for colleagues,” said MrsZanarelli.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms what appears to be a deliberate attack on our staff. This is a huge tragedy. We’re in shock,” said the president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer.

“These staff members were simply doing their duty, selflessly trying to help and support the local community. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of our colleagues killed and those unaccounted for,” said Mr Maurer.

However, still there is no immediate claim by any group on the attack.

It is worth mentioning that around two months ago a foreign staffer of ICRC has been kidnapped in Kunduz and released back after four weeks of captivity.

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