ICRC: Six Red Cross aid workers killed in Afghanistan

February 8, 2017

Jowzjan governor blames ISIL for deadly assault on convoy carrying supplies to snow-storm-hit areas in country’s north.

Suspected ISIL fighters killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were carrying supplies to areas hit by deadly snow storms, according to government officials.

Another two employees were unaccounted for after Wednesday’s attack in the northern Jowzjan province, said ICRC spokesperson  Thomas Glass, adding that the group did not know who was responsible for the attack.

“Devastated by this news out of #Afghanistan,” Peter Maurer, ICRC president,  said on Twitter. “My deepest condolences to the families of those killed – and those still unaccounted for.”

ICRC put its activities in the country on hold following the attack, the group’s global operations head Dominik Stillhart said, “because we need to understand what exactly happened before we can hopefully resume our operations”.

Lotfullah Azizi, Jowzjan’s governor, told Reuters news agency the aid workers were in a convoy that was carrying supplies to areas hit by avalanches when they were targeted by fighters belonging to ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

“Daesh is very active in that area,” Azizi said, using an alternate name for ISIL, also known as ISIS, which has made limited inroads in Afghanistan but has carried out increasingly deadly attacks.