IRC suspend work to mourn staff loss
KABUL (PAN): While mourning the loss of its colleagues in western Herat province, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has temporarily suspended its operations in Afghanistan, the organisation said on Tuesday.
Six workers of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) were killed two days after being kidnapped in Gulran district. The victims included four engineers and two drivers of NSP, a flagship initiative of the government to deliver tangible development services to rural communities across the country.
The IRC said it was deeply saddened to confirm that five IRC staff members were killed. The men, all Afghan, were dedicated aid workers, committed to improving the quality of life for the people, the committee said in a statement.
It identified the victims as Ahmad Momini (27), Nazir Ahmad (24), Mohammad Sharif (26), Wahidullah (24) and Habibur Rahman (25). Ibrahim Mohammadi, a local representative with the Ministry of Rural Relief and Development, was also killed.
IRC President George Rupp said: “The IRC is devastated and grief-stricken by the deaths of our colleagues who all were working to make a better Afghanistan. We offer our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of all those who were killed.”
The IRC has worked in Afghanistan since 1988, delivering humanitarian aid and development assistance to hundreds of thousands of Afghans. In 2008, the IRC lost four staff members, who were killed in an ambush in Logar province.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also denounced the abduction and killing of the six civilians. It noted international humanitarian law defined civilians as all those who do not take a direct part in hostilities and who were not combatants.
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