Taliban gunmen shot three International Rescue Committee (IRC) workers and their local driver near Kabul on Wednesday. The only survivor, an Afghan man who was critically wounded in the attack, said that five men ambushed the vehicle and opened fire. AFP reports that the Taliban claims the aid workers were members of the military.
Shirley Case, of Canada; Nicole Dial, a dual citizen of Trinidad and the US; and Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom were killed in the attack. These women worked with the IRC’s educational programs for children. Their driver was Mohammad Aimal, who had worked with the IRC since 2002.
George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee said in a statement, “We are stunned and profoundly saddened by this tragic loss. These extraordinary individuals were deeply committed to aiding the people of Afghanistan, especially the children who have seen so much strife. Words are inadequate to express our sympathy for the families and loved ones of the victims and our devoted team of humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan.”
According to BBC News, there have been 84 attacks on aid agencies so far this year. Nineteen aid workers have also been killed. The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (Acbar) reports there has been a 50 percent increase in insurgent attacks since last year. The IRC has suspended its work in Afghanistan indefinitely.