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Female aid workers killed in attack

Latest update : 2008-08-13

Three foreign female aid workers - Canadian, Irish and American nationals - were killed along with their Afghan driver in a suspected Taliban attack in Afghanistan on Wednesday. The three worked for the International Rescue Committee.

KABUL - Suspected Taliban insurgents killed three women international aid workers and their Afghan  driver in an ambush in Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said.

It was the bloodiest single attack on foreign aid workers  in recent years in Afghanistan. Rising violence has already
forced aid agencies to restrict humanitarian work at a time when drought and high prices are putting more people under

"They were travelling in a car towards Kabul," said  Abdullah Wardak, the governor of Logar province south of Kabul  where the incident took place.

"Three foreign women employees of IRC (International Rescue  Committee) and their local driver were killed in this ambush by  the opposition forces," he said. "I do not know the identity of
the foreigners."

The U.S.-based IRC's work in Afghanistan focuses on  providing returning refugees with shelter, water and  sanitation, and developing the health care system.

A spokesman for the IRC in London said she could not  confirm the nationalities of the dead women.

"We are still contacting the next of kin. We hope to have a  statement in the next couple of hours," Lydia Gomersall said. "It's a dreadful shock, it really is very, very sad news."

Asked if there had been any threats against the IRC, she  said: "Obviously working in a country like that, there are  always risks, but I don't think there were any specific  problems."

Aid agencies this month complained that rising violence in  Afghanistan was hampering their work and said 19 Afghan NGO staff had been killed this year.

Three district IRC offices have been attacked and destroyed since March, the agency said on its Web site. An Afghan and his driver working for IRC were shot dead in an ambush, also in Logar province, in July 2007.

Security forces have recovered the bodies of the victims,  Wardak said, adding the assailants had carried out the attack
from a car.

Date created : 2008-08-13