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Taliban kill ten Western aid workers: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 13 2010 p 1. August 14, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, NGOs, Terrorism.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Ten members of Christian medical charity working in Afghanistan have been murdered by the Taliban.

On Aug 6, the bodies of ten members of the International Assistance Mission (IAM) were found in Badakhshan north of Kabul.  The ten: six Americans, two Afghans, one German, and a Briton, Dr. Karen Woo, a general surgeon from London, were murdered as they were returning from a medical mission to Nuristan in the Hindu Kush.  One member of their team, an Afghan driver, survived after convincing the killers he was a Muslim.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the killings, saying the ten were spies and Christian missionaries, seeking to proselytize Afghans.

However, in an Aug 9 press conference in Kabul, IAM executive director Dirk Frans said the team was not seeking to convert Muslims.

“IAM is a Christian organization – we have never hidden this,” Mr. Frans said, and “our faith motivates and inspires us – but we do not proselytize.”

“We abide by the laws of Afghanistan.  We are signatures of the Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs Disaster Response Programmes, in other words, that, “aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.”  But more than that, our record speaks for itself,” he said.

IAM would not pull out of Afghanistan, Mr. Frans said.  “Our NGO has worked here for well over four decades. And we remember that there were times when security was much worse than it is now.   IAM works in Afghanistan as the guest of the people and the government. As long as we are welcome here, we will, God-willing, continue to stay and serve the Afghan people,” he said.

Dr. Karen Woo, 36, the lone Briton among the dead, had left private practice in London to provide maternal health care in Afghanistan and was planning to leave in a few weeks to get married, friends said.

“Her motivation was purely humanitarian. She was a humanist and had no religious or political agenda,” her family said in a statement.


1. “Motive for Aid Worker Killings in Afghanistan Still Uncertain” and related posts | Today Hot News - August 14, 2010

[…] Taliban kill 10 Western assist workers: The Church of England Newspaper, August thirteen 2010 p 1. – Conger […]

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