Six ICRC staff members have been killed and two are missing in Jawzjan province, the International Committee of the Red Cross covering Afghanistan confirmed 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.”
In a press release issued late Wednesday, the ICRC confirmed that six had been killed and two staff members are unaccounted for.
The organization said the team, comprised of three drivers and five field officers, was on its way to deliver much-needed livestock materials in an area south of the town of Shibergan in Jawzjan province. Their convoy was attacked by unknown armed men.
“This is a despicable act. Nothing can justify the murder of our colleagues and dear friends,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, Monica Zanarelli.
“At this point, it’s premature for us to determine the impact of this appalling incident on our operations in Afghanistan. We want to collect ourselves as a team and support each other in processing this incomprehensible act and finding our two unaccounted for colleagues," said Zanarelli,
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms what appears to be a deliberate attack on our staff. This is a huge tragedy. We’re in shock,” said the president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer.
“These staff members were simply doing their duty, selflessly trying to help and support the local community. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of our colleagues killed and those unaccounted for," said Maurer.
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.
Turkistani said the ICRC employees had been traveling in three Land Cruisers at the time of the incident.