Red Cross Red Crescent deplores killing of aid workers in Afghanistan

Published: 14 August 2003

Geneva (ICRC/Federation) – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are shocked and dismayed by the killing of two Afghan Red Crescent workers and the wounding of three others yesterday, 13 August, while they were on a mission to distribute aid to flood victims.

Saadat Khan, a driver, and Qobad Khan, a relief worker, were killed when the convoy of two trucks and a four-wheel-drive vehicle in which they were travelling was shot at in Andar district of Ghazni province. Their three wounded colleagues were taken to Ghazni hospital for treatment and are now back in Kabul.

Saadat Khan was 55 years old. Qobad Khan, 63 years old, had worked for the Afghan Red Crescent Society for more than 20 years in its disaster relief department.

The convoy vehicles were marked with the red crescent emblem. No further information on this incident is as yet available.

The International Federation, the ICRC and the Afghan Red Crescent Society are assessing the implications of these killings on their operations. They firmly call on all armed persons and groups to grant safe passage to all vehicles and staff working under the red crescent and red cross emblems and to allow them to perform their humanitarian tasks.

The bodies of Saadat Khan and Qobad Khan were taken to Kabul for their funerals, which took place this afternoon. The International Federation and the ICRC share the grief of their Afghan Red Crescent colleagues, and express their sincerest condolences to the families of those killed and their deepest sympathy with the injured.
For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Jessica Barry, International Federation Kabul - Tel. +93 70 274 877
Simon Schorno, ICRC Kabul - Tel. +93 70 276 465
Jemini Pandya, International Federation Geneva - Tel. +41 22 730 45 70 or +41 79 217 33 74
Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva - Tel. +41 22 730 21 01 or +41 79 217 32 64