Afghanistan: At least 10 killed in attack on Halo Trust mine-clearing workers

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The assault started at 9.50 p.m. native time, when a gaggle of armed males entered a HALO camp within the northern Baghlan province “and went bed-to-bed murdering members of The HALO Belief,” the charity’s CEO James Cowan instructed CNN.

Round 110 males from native communities have been within the camp on the time. Cowan mentioned the gunmen demanded to know which group members have been from the Shiite Hazara ethnic minority, including that “when our employees refused to call them, the gunmen went from room to room murdering our employees.”

The Hazara have beforehand been focused in assaults by IS-Okay, together with final month’s horrific attack on a girls’ faculty in Kabul that left at the least 85 individuals lifeless.

Cowan mentioned that native members of the Taliban — which the Afghan authorities initially blamed for the assault — got here to the rescue in the course of the assault.

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“The native Taliban got here to our rescue and chased the assailants away,” Cowan mentioned.

The Taliban, which is combating to overthrow the Afghani authorities, denied involvement within the assault to Reuters.

Cowan mentioned that regardless of the assault — and the anticipated withdrawal of US and NATO troops later this yr — the charity’s de-miners “nonetheless have a job to do.”

“We may very well be fearful of what’s occurring in Afghanistan. However we have been there earlier than 9/11. A full decade earlier than. We have been by means of all of the ups and downs of life and dying in Afghanistan. And now because the worldwide group prepares to go away. We’re going to keep,” he mentioned.

US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun

The HALO Belief was based in Afghanistan in 1988 and now operates in 26 nations, together with Angola, the place — in 1997 — Princess Diana famously walked by means of certainly one of its minefields.

The United Nations referred to as for a full investigation to “make sure that these accountable for this horrendous assault are held accountable and delivered to justice,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric instructed reporters in New York, Reuters stories.

The Halo Belief is the most important demining group within the nation and after many years of battle, Afghanistan remains to be strewn with mines and unexploded ordnance and companies have been working to clear them within the years because the Taliban have been ousted in 2001.

Violence has elevated throughout Afghanistan since the US introduced plans in April to pull out all of its troops by September 11.

The Taliban is combating authorities troops in 26 out of 34 provinces, and insurgents have not too long ago captured greater than 10 districts, authorities officers say.

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