Monday 22 January 2018

Six Red Cross staff killed in Afghanistan

The attack took place in northern Jowzjan province
The attack took place in northern Jowzjan province

Gunmen have killed six employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross in northern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the aid group said.

Ahmad Ramin Ayaz, the group's Kabul-based spokesman, said the attack took place in northern Jowzjan province, without providing further details.

Rahmatullah Turkistani, the chief of the provincial police, confirmed the attack, saying it took place 35 kilometres (22 miles) west of the provincial capital, Shibirghan.

No-one immediately claimed the attack but Mr Turkistani said militants loyal to Islamic State have a presence in the area.

The Taliban denied involvement.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives after being stopped outside a district headquarters in eastern Paktia province, killing two civilians and wounding a policeman, said Abdullah Asrat, the spokesman for the provincial governor.

No-one claimed responsibility but the Taliban frequently attack government targets.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber struck at the entrance to the Afghan Supreme Court in the capital Kabul, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 40.

The aid group said two other staffers were missing after the attack in Jowzjan province.

The eight-person team was delivering livestock materials near the northern town of Shibirghan, capital of the province, when the gunmen attacked their convoy, it said.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms what appears to be a deliberate attack on our staff," the head of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, said in a statement.

"This is a huge tragedy. We're in shock."

Press Association

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