Kidnapped ICRC staff members released
KABUL (Pajhwok): All five staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), abducted on August 14 in western Herat province, have been released unharmed, officials said on Thursday.
Police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News that the ICRC staff members were released on Thursday evening following hectic efforts by local elders and security personnel.
The ICRC in a statement, welcomed their unconditional release. "Our five colleagues are free. They are in good health and have been reunited with their families. It was the most important thing for us," said Monica Zanarelli, head of the ICRC delegation in Kabul.
Zanarelli said that "we remain committed to pursuing our activities for people suffering the effects of the conflict in Afghanistan. Once again, we are calling for greater respect for the ICRC's humanitarian work all over the country. Our staff must be allowed to work in safety."
It merits mention that the ICRC staff members were abducted while helping conflict-stricken communities in the Adraskan district of Herat to find ways to provide for themselves.
The ICRC delegation in Kabul, established in 1987, works to prevent violations of international humanitarian law, to protect detainees and to bring water, sanitation and means of support to civilians affected by conflict.
It also restores contact between family members, serves as a neutral intermediary, assists the wounded and the disabled, and provides support for hospital care.
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