The International Committee of the Red Cross is reporting that six of their staffers were gunned down and two are missing when they were ambushed in Northern Afghanistan on Wednesday.
This is the deadliest attack on the International Red Cross in Afghanistan. International Red Cross spokesman Thomas Glass reported the attack occurred near Shebergan, the capital of the northern province of Jowzjan. Before they were ambushed and gunned down, the group was on its way to deliver livestock materials to people affected by heavy snowfall in an area south of Shebergan.
No group has currently claimed the attack, but officials are blaming ISIS. Rahmatullah Turkistani, the Jowzjan provincial police chief told the Associated Press it was most likely carried out by Islamic State militants. Lotfullah Azizi, the provincial governor, backed up this claim when he told Reuters ISIS “is very active in that area.”
The Taliban has denied being involved in the attack. But they did say through their spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid as reported by Reuters they would help in “finding the perpetrators.”
ISIS has been active in the area. They claimed a suicide attack that killed at least 22 people outside Afghanistan’s Supreme Court in Kabul.
If this is the work of ISIS it would be their first attack on an international organization in Afghanistan.
Watch the report for more details:
Monica Zanarelli, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan denounced the attack, “This is a despicable act. Nothing can justify the murder of our colleagues and dear friends.”
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H/T: Breaking 911