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Afghanistan: ICRC takes action in Herat

13-09-1995 News Release 37

Following the fall of Herat province to the Taliban militia on 5 September, ICRC delegates based there immediately contacted the new authorities with a view to meeting urgent humanitarian needs, particularly in the medical field. They also sought access to prisoners being held by the Taliban and obtained permission in principle for a series of visits in the near future to prisoners captured during the recent offensive.

Well before the latest fighting the ICRC had built up stocks of medicines and other emergency medical supplies in Herat, and was thus able to provide assistance where needed to both the civilian and the military hospital in the city. A number of wounded Taliban fighters were evacuated to the first-aid post set up by the ICRC near Kandahar last June. From there the most serious cases were taken across the border to the ICRC surgical hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, which has treated almost 200 new patients in the past two weeks. Over 13,000 war-wounded have been admitted so far this year to ICRC-supported hospitals in Afghanistan and Quetta.