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Afghanistan: ICRC, International Federation and Afghan Red Crescent strongly condemn killing of staff

17-04-2013 News Release 13/72

Kabul/Geneva (ICRC): Two members of the staff of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) were killed yesterday in an attack on the main road in Khanaqa district, which is in the Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

Their ARCS mobile clinic was on its way to Shiberghan, having completed its work when it came under fire. Two other staff members were injured in the attack and are now in hospital.

The ARCS, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies strongly condemn this attack by unknown armed assailants on a medical team. It is shocking and unacceptable.

The ARCS mobile clinic team of four had been working in Khanaqa district, providing medical assistance to people in remote areas who have great difficulty in getting access to health care. The vehicle in which the team was travelling was clearly marked with the emblem of the ARCS.

Those killed in the attack were 32-year-old Sayeed Hazarat, a vaccinator, and 45-year-old Mohammad Najibullah, the team's driver.

Medical personnel and their marked vehicles are protected under international humanitarian law and must not be harmed. Health-care personnel, including ARCS staff, must be able to provide assistance unhindered and in safety. The red cross and red crescent emblems must be respected at all times.

The ARCS provides neutral and impartial humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

For further information, please contact:
Robin Waudo, ICRC Kabul, tel: +93 700 282 719
Abdul Hassib Rahimi, ICRC Kabul, tel: +93 700 276 465
Walid Akbar Sarwary, ARCS Kabul, tel: +93 700 204 622
Bijan Farnoudi, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 21 80 or +41 79 536 92 59