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Afghanistan: ICRC recovers bodies from recent fighting in western part of country

17-08-2004 News Release 04/97

Following three days of clashes in western Afghanistan, the ICRC sub-delegation in Herat was approached by those involved in the fighting, on behalf of families whose relatives had been killed, for help in retrieving their bodies from across the front line.

On 16 August, after receiving guarantees of safe passage from all sides, an ICRC team travelled to Adraskan, about one and a half hour's drive south of Herat, where they met with military commanders on both sides of the line for further discussions. Three bodies were subsequently handed over. The team arrived back in Herat in the early evening and took the bodies to the regional hospital for identification and return to the families.

The ICRC, an independent and impartial humanitarian organization, has a mandate under the 1949 Geneva Conventions to offer its services to all sides as a neutral intermediary in times of armed conflict and internal strife and to assist the families of those involved in the fighting by retrieving human remains, tracing missing persons and visiting detainees.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Jessica Barry, ICRC Kabul, ++93 70 282 719 or ++873 761 24 22 60  

 Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva, ++41 22 730 21 01