“We have six of our colleagues that were killed, our thoughts are very much with the families. We are mourning with the families,” said ICRC’s director.
ICRC Suspends Work in Afghanistan After 6 Staff Killed
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is putting its aid activities across Afghanistan "on hold" following the attack of one of its convoys in which six Afghan staff members were killed.
Two ICRC employees are still unaccounted for, a senior ICRC official said.
"For the time being, we decided to put on hold all our operations in the whole country because we also need and want to mark what is a horrible incident, which came as a huge shock for all our staff, first and foremost in Afghanistan, but also to respect the families.
“We have six of our colleagues that were killed, our thoughts are very much with the families. We are mourning with the families, and at the same time, focusing on establishing the whereabouts of the two Afghan colleagues that are still unaccounted for," ICRC's director of global operations Dominik Stillhart told Reuters TV in Geneva.
At the time of the attack, the ICRC convoy had been carrying supplies to areas in the north that have been hard hit by snow storms in the past few week.
"We are all outraged about what seems to be a targeted attack against a clearly marked ICRC convoy, in addition travelling on a road that we have been using regularly, in an area we are well acquainted with and the team was about to bring much needed livestock assistance to communities in the south of Mazar," Stillhart said.
On Wednesday, the ICRC said on its twitter page shortly after 3.30pm that it was “shocked and devastated. We confirm that 6 ICRC staff were killed and 2 are missing in Jawzjan province.”
The organization said the team, comprised of three drivers and five field officers, was on its way to deliver the livestock materials in an area south of the town of Shibergan in Jawzjan province. Their convoy was attacked by unknown armed men.
The Taliban issued a statement following the incident and denied any involvement in the attack.
However, Jawzjan police chief Gen. Rahmatullah Turkistani claims Daesh militants were behind the attack.
He also said police are working to find the two missing ICRC staff members.
According to him the incident took place in Jar Shaheedan village at about mid-day.