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Iran Press TV

3 aid workers gunned down in Afghanistan's Ghor

Iran Press TV

Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:39PM

Authorities in the central Afghan province of Ghor have reported the killing of three aid workers, the latest to afflict providers of humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country.

Iqbal Nezami, a spokesman for the provincial police, said on Tuesday the three aid workers were gunned down and killed near Firuzkoh, formerly known as Chaghcharan, the capital of Ghor.

He said all the three were Afghan nationals and operated for the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), adding that two other employees of the humanitarian group were wounded in the attack. Nezami said the identity of the gunmen was unknown.

Richard Peeperkorn, United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan, condemned the attack on CRS staff and called for more protection for the humanitarian workers.

"I call on all parties to ensure that those providing humanitarian assistance have safe access to the most vulnerable and can carry out their lifesaving work unhindered," said Peeperkorn.

A total of 12 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of this year, a significant increase compared to the entire 2016 which saw some 15 deaths among humanitarian staff. That has made Afghanistan one of the deadliest countries in the world for aid workers.

The CRS has operatives in Ghor as well as Herat, Bamiyan, Daykundi, and Kabul provinces. It provides aid to more than 200,000 people in Afghanistan and its focus is on agriculture, education, and disaster response. The group has yet to confirm the deaths among its workers in Ghor.

Ghor, once a relatively peaceful area, has now become a sanctuary for active militants of Taliban and Daesh. The Taliban, which was toppled in 2001 following a US-led invasion, has intensified its attacks in recent years while Daesh, which mainly operates in Iraq and Syria, is recruiting Taliban defectors to spread its militancy across Afghanistan.

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