Deadly assault on mine-clearing workers
Taliban gunmen are being blamed for the killing of 10 people and wounding 14 others in an attack on the Halo Trust compound in Afghanistan.
The Dumfries-based anti-mine charity is one of several NGOs in the country clearing unexploded mines.
Victims are all believed to have been local workers hired by the organisation.
Paul McCann, head of communications for the Halo Trust, said: “The Halo Trust can confirm that at 9.40pm local time (6.20pm BST) on June 8, 10 Halo staff were killed and 16 injured by an unknown armed group at a de-mining camp in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan.
“The group entered the camp and opened fire. Around 110 men, from local communities in northern Afghanistan, were in the camp having finished their work on nearby minefields.
“We strongly condemn the attack on our staff, who were carrying out humanitarian work to save lives.
“We are focused now on (taking) care of the injured staff and supporting the families affected.”
The United Nations has repeatedly demanded both government forces and the Taliban to take more precautions to protect civilians.
In the first three months of this year, the U.N. mission in Afghanistan said that 1,783 civilians had been killed or wounded in Afghanistan, an increase of 29% over the same period last year.
The Halo Trust was supported by Diana Princess of Wales and has had a close affiliation with the Duke of Sussex.
Harry made a visit to Africa in 2019 to retrace the steps of his mother Diana, who famously walked through a partially cleared Angolan minefield in 1997 to highlight the trust’s efforts and the threat of the military munitions.
According to the its website, the Halo Trust employs almost 9,000 people and works in more than 20 countries and territories around the world.