The New York Times reported that “Returning home from a three-week trek on foot to deliver free medical care to the remotest regions of the country, the aid workers — six Americans, a Briton, a German and four Afghans — had just finished eating when they were accosted by gunmen with long dyed-red beards, the police said. The gunmen marched them into the forest, stood them in a line and shot 10 of them one by one.” ...“The attack, the largest massacre in years of aid workers in Afghanistan, offered chilling evidence of the increasing insecurity in the northern part of the country and added to fears that the insurgency has turned even more vicious in recent months.”
Ths shocking act is a chilling reminder of the dangers of humanitarian operations in certain parts of the world.
“The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killings, accusing the group of being spies and Christian missionaries. The police said the group of doctors, nurses and technicians were working for the International Assistance Mission, a Christian aid group that has operated in Afghanistan since 1966. ... The accusations of spying or proselytizing, Mr. Frans said, were “out of the question.” “That would be against the laws of this country and the rules of our organization,” he said. “Although we are a Christian-supported charity, we would absolutely not proselytize.” He said all aid workers signed agreements not to divulge any information to governments or outside parties.”
The full article is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/world/asia/08afghan.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=afghanistan&st=cse
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.