Saturday, August 21, 2010

Slain aid workers laid to rest in Afghanistan

The group of aid workers who were killed in Afghanistan were buried in Kabul Saturday. The group was in Afghanistan to treat eye disease in remote villages.

The group of aid workers were attacked after they had just completed a long trek by foot and returned to their vehicles. It was there that the militants ambushed them, killing the entire group by either gunfire or grenades.

You might remember this story from a previous post where we linked to an account from the Telegraph that provided grizzly details of the attack. Since the killings, CURE International's blog has been running a series of tributes on one of the victims Dan Terry.

From this AFP article that we found at Google news, writer Lynne O'Donnell describes the attack and its victims.

A small crowd of family and friends, and dignitaries including US ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, attended a solemn service at the 121-year-old cemetery for Tom Little, 61, and 63-year-old Dan Terry.

The men were found shot dead on August 6 while returning from a trip to provide healthcare to people living in remote and poverty-stricken Nuristan province.

In all, five US men and three women -- an American, a German and a Briton -- were killed along with two Afghans. The group's driver survived.

The Taliban and militant group Hizb-e-Islami initially claimed responsibility for the attack, which the government said was the work of "terrorists".

A representative of the Taliban in Nuristan later told the Afghan Analysts' Network (AAN) the Taliban had not carried out the killings.

AAN quoted Qari Malang, who it said was a "representative of the Taliban front of Western Nuristan", as saying: "We condemn these killings and consider them to be murder."

The volunteer medics worked for the Christian aid group International Assistance Mission (IAM), which has long had a presence in Afghanistan.

In claiming responsibility for their deaths, the Taliban claimed the group had been carrying Persian-language Bibles and had been proselytising.

However IAM has a non-preaching policy, and family and friends of the medics say there was no religious dimension to their work.

The party included Karen Woo, 36, a British doctor who had been due to marry on August 20; German Daniela Beyer, 35, a translator; and four Americans -- Cheryl Beckett, 32, a translator; Brian Carderelli, 25, a freelance cameraman; Dr Tom Grams, a dentist; and Glen Lapp, 40, an intensive care nurse.

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