Killing of Medical Aid Workers in Afghanistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 8, 2010
Valley in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan

On Friday, Afghan police officers discovered the bodies of 10 medical aid workers who were killed in the northern Badakhshan Province. Six were American. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for this act of violence. Today, Secretary Clinton said:

"These men and women were in the region to deliver free medical care to impoverished Afghan villagers, according to the NGO they were working with. They were doctors, nurses, and medical technicians, and their mission was humanitarian and wholly independent from that of any government. Before their deaths, they had spent several days treating cataracts and other eye conditions in the Nuristan Province. At their next stop, they planned to run a dental clinic and offer maternal and infant health care. They were unarmed. They were not being paid for their services. They had traveled to this distant part of the world because they wanted to help people in need. They were guests of the Afghan people.

"The Taliban stopped them on a remote road on their journey from Nuristan, led them into a forest, robbed them, and killed them.

"We are heartbroken by the loss of these heroic, generous people. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless act. We also condemn the Taliban's transparent attempt to justify the unjustifiable by making false accusations about their activities in Afghanistan.

"Terror has no religion, and these acts are rejected by people all over the world, including by Muslims here in the United States. The Taliban's cruelty is well-documented. Its members have assassinated tribal elders and thrown acid in the face of young girls. Earlier this summer, they accused a 7-year-old boy of spying and hung him. With these killings, they have shown us yet another example of the lengths to which they will go to advance their twisted ideology.

"The murdered medical aid workers, as well as the volunteers from many nations and the international coalition working to establish stability in Afghanistan, represent exactly what the Taliban stands against: a future of peace, freedom, opportunity, and openness, where all Afghans can live and work together in harmony, free from terror.

"That is what we are working to achieve in Afghanistan, in partnership with the Afghan people. As we mourn the loss of these aid workers, we will continue with our own efforts, inspired by their example."

In Kabul, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry said:

"The United States is shocked and saddened by the killing of 10 medical aid workers -- including Americans, Afghans and others -- in the remote forests of Badakhshan Province.

"Our Consular personnel and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents assigned to the United States Embassy in Kabul, alongside Afghan counterparts and representatives of the United Kingdom and German Embassies, are now working to identify the victims of this very tragic attack.

"Our hearts go out to the families and the friends of those who lost loved ones in this heart-wrenching incident. I will be making a call later today to Mr. Dirk Frans, the Executive Director of the International Assistance Mission -- Afghanistan, to express condolences on behalf of all Americans.

"Militant, extremist Taliban have claimed responsibility for these killings. We do not know whether they are responsible or simply taking credit for the cowardly and despicable acts of others.

"The Taliban has called this group of medical aid workers spies and proselytizers. They were no such thing. These were selfless volunteers who devoted themselves to providing free and much-needed healthcare to Afghans in the most remote and difficult parts of your country.

"Their murder demonstrates the absolute disregard that terrorist-inspired Taliban and other insurgents have for your health, have for your security and have for your opportunity. They don't care about your future. They only care about themselves and their own ideology.

"As we mourn the loss of these very brave men and women, we draw courage and inspiration from their example. The United States of America will continue standing with our Afghan partners. We are with you, working towards the day that you are no longer subject to the threat, the violence and the intimidation of such twisted terrorist groups."

Watch Ambassador Eikenberry's statement here.



New York, USA
August 8, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

Yes, this is horrible....but,

1- The War is waged by Taliban Sharia extremeists and gangsters.

2- Many of The Health Workers are Christan
NGO's....anathema to Taligan and sitting ducks (doves?)for the gangsters.

3- Isn't healthcare by NGO's a little premature in this complex security-free country?

4- Who's funding these NGO's? How are they
getting in? moving aroung? being
protected? Who's in Charge?

Very Sad, very Bad, quite Mad.

Michael K.
August 8, 2010

Michael K. writes:

This tragedy is the latest testimony that nurderers should be spoken a language they understand, which is a total distraction only.

My deepest condolences to families and friends of the world islamism recent victims-medics brought about relief and cure to Afghan people.

August 8, 2010

Saber in Sudan writes:

Sine the Taliban & Al Qaida are totally going to be defeated sooner, they just start to targeted those who give their time and life to help those who needs care and medication. That is awful. I am so sorry for those great honorable doctors who travel abroad to help. and Taliban will be eradicating soon.

South Korea
August 9, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Pray for the repose of the deceased. The best memorial for a funeral, but they find ways to handle the same I think. and, stoning is good methods, i think. involving a widow.

New Mexico, USA
August 9, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I have the taliban's answer.

Rig up 4 landrovers with radio control remote linked drone recon, load them to the gills with C-4 and srap metal and tint the windows real dark so they can't tell no one's driving and roll on the convoy right into taliban country and let them ambush this and see what happens in real-time when you remote detonate the whole lot of them. Followed up with airstrikes and spec. opps so no one gets away.

It won't take but a half dozen times getting burned like this for taliban to get the idea it's not safe to ambush anyone.

Use their own tactics against them and set the trap right, knowing what they go for looks unprotected.

Joseph M.
Oregon, USA
August 9, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

Although this is a tragic loss of life, Ron's comments are in line with the reality on the ground in Afghanistan and right on track. I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment on this. Afghanistan is an Islamic state and this society is structured by Tribal laws and governed by Sharia. You do not bring a Christian religious medical team, even if they are not promoting Christianity (and even if their intentions are noble and honorable), and expect them as humanitarian aid-workers to be O.k. and safe within a Islamic State during a time of violent conflict. Daaaa, what were they thinking? Afghanistan since 2002, incidentally, has suffered many civilian casualties by Western military intervention. The Taliban, in this particular incident, did what the Crusader Army did upon reaching Jerusalem, under the banner of the Vatican, approximately a thousand years ago -- by reciprocating the killing of those Christian aid workers. Only, in Jerusalem, during 1,100 a.d. under the banner of the Vatican, the Crusader Army slaughtered hundreds of Muslim civilians, including woman and children, only due to the fact that they were Muslim.
Yes, religion remains a very intricate part of this conflict in Central Asia. The U.S. Government, the NATO contingent, and the Afghan government, should only allow "international aid-workers" and humanitarian assistant NGOs, who are not affiliated with Christian Religious organizations, they should allow -- Doctor's Without Borders and Mercy Corps, in naming a couple. I simply cannot believe that the U.S. Department of State, in their quest for acknowledging the local culture, has not thought of this before, which could have saved at least 14 lives? The Taliban live a simple structured lifestyle, governed by Tribal laws, the Quran and by following the rule of law of Sharia.

District Of Columbia, USA
August 9, 2010

KG in DC writes:

These workers came years and wars ago to Afghanistan to serve people with medical needs - they conducted themselves in a manner that set a standard for cultural sensitivity, and did not seek to convert anyone. They were loved by the Afghan people and were cherished guests.

See images of Tom Little in action:

This is a tragic and heinous crime that should not be used for fatuous critiques of USG policy, Islam, or NGO workers...

Pure, good deeds transcend politics, nationality and religion. These volunteers were heroes; the loss is shared by all humanity.

Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
August 9, 2010

Patrick W. in Maryland writes:

It is sad,that such a beautiful country like Afghanistan, is being used as a terrorist war zone.

I think, our Service Personnel and thier
Civilian counterparts, are doing an Excellent
Job in Afghanistan and Abroad.

Best Regards & Positive Thoughts =.)

See-Ya Guys & Sec. Hillary .)

Wayne B.
United States
August 9, 2010

Wayne B. in the U.S.A. writes:

These people were put in harm’s way by the United States, which is now engaged in its longest “war” in History. Let there be no doubt the real war in Afghanistan is a religious civil war. The “side” we have picked is that which is most malleable to the occupation, i.e. a corrupt puppet government. With continuing “collateral damage” to Afghan civilians, one can expect more of these occurrences. Even if this group was not actively prostilizing, this is a Muslim country and we Americans in our arrogance have forgotten to give the proper deference to the people of the countryside.

New York, USA
August 11, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

Desparate Dots....

1- Taliban desparate to bring Sharia to Af-Pak.
2- US/NATO desparate to show outcomes for decades-long war.
3- Af-Pak Governments desparate to collect billions in security/development dollars.
4- NGO's desparate to provide relief and care.
5- Insurgents desparate to kill all foreigners.
6- Desparate Dots.....a self-perpetuating situation.

New Mexico, USA
August 13, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Aye well Ron, I've always thought that if neccesity was the mother of invention, desperation was surely its father.

There might be a reason for everything, and if that's the case we can invent the solution.

Why did man learn to fly anyway? He was desperate to attain perspective on this world.

All the things invented on our desperate quest to step on the moon, just because "it was there."

Why do folks climb mountains anyway?

Desperate for a summit meeting?

( Bin Laden searching desperately fot the meaning of life high atop K2 at "the wise one's" cave, and the lesson he learned on the way down when "the wise one" gave him the boot-the short of the story once told on the pages of Dipnote comes to mind during a sudden flashback of humor)

I honestly think after this thing is all over, the Pakistani people are going to be real sick and tired of being messed with by terrorists and clean house, just because their situation is so desperate that they can't afford the distraction.

Wait for it.


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