The office involved in the evening attack belongs to the Britain-based HALO Trust. It was supervising the removal of land mines left after the last conflict. Added to the 10 slain by the identified 'Taliban Mujahidin', were dozens more injured by the raiding militants.
Caught in the crossfire
HALO Trust's office is located in the northern Baghlan province where the fighting between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban often erupts. In this case, the conflict occurred within the organization's premises and its personnel became caught in the struggle.
According to the provincial police spokesman, as told to VOA, victims said that the insurgents reportedly assembled the Afghan civilians working at the demining site inside a room before showering them with bullets.
Perpetrators of the massacre
A report by the SITE Intelligence Group remarked that the ones who killed the workers are a local affiliate of the Islamic State terror group, called IS Khorasan Province (ISKP). These militants admitted to the mass slaying, which took 60 lives.
Zabihullah Mujahid, designated Taliban spokesperson, disputed the rebel group's responsibility, claiming the Baghlan-e-Markazi district, in which the "truly horrific" massacre of non-combatants occurred late Tuesday, was never under Taliban control.
Attack on deminers in Markazi Baghlan, martyrdom of 10 & injuries to multiple has no relation with IEA Mujahidin.
We condemn attacks on the defenseless & view it as brutality. We have normal relations with NGOs, our Mujahidin will never carry out such brutal acts. https://t.co/6CUbjWJyHL
He posted on Twitter," We consider attacks on the unarmed to be harsh and reject them. We enjoy normal interactions with non-governmental organizations, our Mujahidin will never engage in such barbaric activities." Several gunmen attack a camp intent on killing individuals.
HALO Trust started efforts in Afghanistan around 1988, although the nation had been under the Soviet Union's decade-long occupation that ended in 1989. The organization operates throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, and wherever there is any need to eliminate post-war remnants such as land mines.
The organization slammed the assault, stating that more than 100 de-miners from local areas were laboring in the region for humanitarian missions. Officials added, "local Taliban" came to the victims' assistance and "scared the assailants off."
Writing on Twitter, the charity remarked," "The gunmen stormed into the encampment and fired shots. Approximately 110 men from north Afghanistan's local communities had been in the camp, after finishing their jobs on adjacent minefields."
Survivors mentioned the terrorists picked out and murdered mostly members of the Hazara Shi'ite community, based on videos posted on social media. Those claims were corroborated by the Brtish NGO, "Our team's Hazara personnel were sought by several armed men. These assailants moved from room to room slaughtering the personnel after they refused to identify them," the organization alleged.
Almost all recent deadly bombings and other atrocities on Hazara Afghans in the province were claimed by the Sunni extremist ISKP, the United Nations called for a thorough investigation into the occurrence so those guilty can be held to account.
According to U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Kabul, Ramiz Alakbarov as mentioned Aljazeera, "It is reprehensible that an organization committed to clearing land mines and other hazards and bettering the welfare of vulnerable individuals must be intended to target."
Amed gunmen attack a camp of Afghan de-miners that happened as the Taliban increased battlefield efforts around the country, seizing more than 14 districts after the US and NATO allies started withdrawing troops in Afghanistan in May.
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