The Taliban has officially accepted responsibility for the execution-style killings of ten aid workers in Afghanistan late last week, including six Americans, a German, a British physician, and two Afghan interpreters, some of whom had been working among the Afghans for many years. The workers, representing the Christian charitable organization The International Assistance Mission, were accused by the Taliban of proselytizing and spying, an accusation denied by Dirk Frans, executive director of the IAM. Frans explained the workers were engaged in a humanitarian medical effort treating Afghans in a remote village in the Nuristan province. A spokesperson for the Taliban boldly described how their patrol confronted them: “They were Christian missionaries, and we killed them all.” Families of five of the eight workers have requested the bodies be buried in Afghanistan, since their life’s work was centered there. CBS reported that the charity will remain in the country despite the murders, but aid agencies in in the region are launching urgent security reviews in the wake of the killings. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the act “senseless,” saying the U.S. was “heartbroken by the loss of these heroic, generous people.” The U.S. Embassy has partnered with the FBI and Afghan authorities to investigate the killings.
The Telegraph 8/7/10, The Washington Post 8/9/10, The Christian Post, 8/9/10