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Afghanistan mine Clearance workers shot dead

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In Afghanistan, at least 10 mine clearance workers were shot dead working for Halo Trust. This mine is located in the country’s northern province of Baghlan.

According to the Afghan officials, the Taliban were to be blamed for this tragedy. They said the militants “started shooting everyone” in the compound.

But the CEO of Halo Trust, James Cowan said that “the local Taliban… came to our aid and scared the assailants off”.

The Taliban on the other hand also denied the attack.

Ever since the US started to withdraw its last troops on May 1, the violence has increased.

The departure of the international troops happened amid the deadlock in peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

 A lot of fierce fighting was seen between the Taliban and the Afghan forces in many districts of Baghlan province.

On Tuesday, about 21:50 (17:20 GMT), several masked gunmen entered their compound and killed the workers.

The Interior Ministry spokesperson of Afghanistan, Tareq Arian reported that “the Taliban entered a compound of a mine-clearing agency… and started shooting everyone”.

But the Taliban issued a swift denial.

 

“We condemn attacks on the defenceless and view it as brutality,” the militant group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, tweeted. “We have normal relations with NGOs [non-governmental organisations]. Our Mujahideen will never carry out such brutal attacks.”

 

Mr Cowan of the Halo Trust said –

 

“I think it’s important to know that the Taliban has denied responsibility for this, and indeed the local Taliban group came to our aid and scared the assailants off.”

 

“We don’t know who the assailants were – we could speculate about that but I won’t – but I think we have the capacity as the Halo Trust to operate on both sides of the line in this awful conflict,” he added.

Attackers unknown but motive clear

Halo Trust and other demining organisations have been working in Afghanistan for more than three decades.

It has 3,000 staff in Afghanistan and hires mostly local people to generate employment for local communities. 

Although the officials are not clear about who planned the attack but the aim is clear. Their aim is to incite ethnic tension among Afghans, where 40 years of war has already widely affected unity in the country.

 

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