Aid worker shot dead in HelmandBy Zainullah Stanakzai Aug 22, 2010 - 12:32
LASHKARGAH (PAN): An Afghan aid worker has been shot dead in southern Helmand province, an official said, in the latest attack by insurgents on employees working for foreign organizations.
The victim was a computer operator in the agricultural section at International Relief and Development, a US non-governmental organization, the provincial deputy police chief, Kamaluddin Sherzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He was shot dead by two men on motorcycles late Saturday evening, he said.
Aid workers and non governmental agencies have increasingly come under attack from insurgents who see them as collaborating with coalition forces.
In July, suicide bombers attacked the Kunduz headquarters of a US contractor for the USAID programme, killing five people. In April, an 18-year old Afghan woman who worked for DAI was shot dead in southern Kandahar province.
The United Nations said that 19 of its aid workers and staff have been attacked this year, with nine abducted and seven killed. Earlier this month, a team of eight foreign and two Afghan aid workers were shot dead in northern Badakhshan province.
Helmand governor, Gulab Mangal, said that Taliban insurgents had also tried to set tractors belonging to an agricultural cooperative on fire in Bast Kala, but locals tried to stop them and one Taliban fighter was killed.
Residents say that if the government does not improve the security situation, people will stop working for non-governmental organisations and the government.
Elsewhere, in Marja district, locals said coalition fire killed two women and a child in Charayan area. And in Lashkargah, the deputy police chief said an ISAF mortar killed a woman and injured two other people.
The International Security Assistance Force did not have any comment about the incidents in Charayan or Lashkargah, but said insurgent fire had killed an Afghan women and a child in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Saturday. The insurgents had attacked a joint patrol in the district with rocket propelled grenade launchers which killed the two civilians, a statement from the coalition said.