Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taliban increasingly targeting NGOs, aid workers

A report by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) says that the Taliban and other anti-government forces have drastically stepped up attacks against nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and aid workers during the first quarter of 2008, the U.N.’s IRIN news agency reported Tuesday.

“Our data demonstrates a serious escalation in fatalities with nearly as many killed in the first three months of 2008 as were killed in all of 2007,” said Nic Lee, the ANSO director in Kabul. He added that cases of abductions had also seen a marked increase.

Twenty-nine separate attacks were recorded between January 1 and the end of March. Eleven aid workers have been murdered, and nine more seriously wounded. Twelve people have been kidnapped in seven different instances, resulting in two of the 11 fatalities. It is believed that Taliban fighters had a hand in 16 of the 29 attacks, with the remaining 13 attributed to criminals seeking financial gain.

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