Armed Attack Kills 10 Staff of Charity Clearing Afghan Land Mines

  • Date of Publication : 10/06/2021 at 08:41 GMT
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Asia News afghanistan Armed Attack Kills Staff of Charity Clearing Afghan Land Mines

Officials in Afghanistan said Wednesday that gunmen attacked the office of an international charity clearing land mines in the country, killing at least 10 people and injuring more than a dozen others.

The overnight assault on Britain-based HALO Trust’s camp occurred in the embattled northern Baghlan province, the scene of fierce fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents.

A provincial police spokesman told VOA the victims were all Afghan citizens who work at the de-mining camp, alleging that insurgents gathered them in a room before spraying them with bullets.

The local affiliate of the Islamic State terror group, known as IS Khorasan Province (ISKP), took credit for the massacre, saying it inflicted more than 60 casualties, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the insurgent group’s involvement, saying the Baghlan-e-Markazi district where the “horrifying” assault took place late Tuesday was not controlled by the insurgents.

“We condemn attacks on the defenseless & view it as brutality. We have normal relations with NGOs, our Mujahidin will never carry out such brutal acts,” Mujahid wrote on Twitter.

The HALO Trust denounced the attack, saying more than 100 de-miners from local communities were undertaking humanitarian missions in the area. Officials at the charity said “local Taliban” came to the rescue of the victims and “scared the assailants off.”

“The (armed) group entered the camp and opened fire. Around 110 men, from local communities in northern Afghanistan, were in the camp having finished their work on nearby minefields,” the charity said in a statement it posted on Twitter.

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