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UNHCR shocked, saddened by deaths of IRC aid workers in Afghanistan

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UNHCR shocked, saddened by deaths of IRC aid workers in Afghanistan

13 August 2008

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

GENEVA - UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres today expressed shock and sadness over the killing in Afghanistan of four aid workers from the International Rescue Committee.

"On behalf of UNHCR staff worldwide, I want to convey our deep shock and sorrow over the senseless murders of our friends and colleagues from the International Rescue Committee," Guterres said of the fatal ambush Wednesday in Afghanistan's Logar Province. "I condemn the killings in the strongest possible terms. We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who died helping others, and express our solidarity with our IRC partners at this difficult time."

An IRC statement said the dead included three international staff members, all women - a British-Canadian, a Canadian and a Trinidadian American - and an Afghan driver. Another Afghan driver was critically wounded. It said the group was travelling to Kabul in a clearly marked International Rescue Committee vehicle when they came under fire.

Guterres noted that IRC has been one of UNHCR's longest-standing partners in the delivery of assistance to refugees and internally displaced people. It has provided neutral, impartial humanitarian aid to Afghans throughout all the long years of conflict - both in exile and inside Afghanistan.