International Red Cross to 'Drastically' Cut Afghan Presence After Attacks
The International Committee of the Red Cross will “drastically” cut back its operations in Afghanistan following attacks that have killed seven of its staff this year, the aid group said on Monday, quoted by Reuters.
“Exposure to risk has become our greatest challenge and concern,” Monica Zanarelli, head of the ICRC in Afghanistan, told a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
While noting that ICRC was not “leaving” Afghanistan, she said it was necessary to review the organization’s presence to prevent more losses.
The Red Cross had already warned of the threat to its operations following a series of attacks over the past year.
In February, six of its staff were killed in an attack on an aid convoy in the far north and last month, a Spanish Red Cross physiotherapist working in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif was shot dead by one of her patients.
According to U.S. military estimates, the government controls no more than 60 percent of the country, with the rest either controlled or contested by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
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