Afghan police find bodies of six Germans, two Americans

August 7th, 2010 - 3:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, Aug 7 (DPA) Police found the bullet-riddled bodies of eight foreigners and two of their Afghan colleagues in a remote mountainous area in northeastern Afghanistan, a police official said.
The victims were camping in a remote area of Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, when they were killed, Agha Noor Kentooz, police chief for neighbouring Badakhshan province, said.

An Afghan man who survived the attack walked to Karan-nu-Munjan district in Badakhshan and informed police, who recovered the bodies next to their four-wheel drive vehicles.

“The attackers, who all had long beards, searched the foreigners first and then shot them,” Kentooz said, citing the Afghan colleague, who was identified only as Sayedullah.

The source told him that the foreigners had worked in a Kabul hospital and had travelled to the area through Panjshir province.

“According to Sayedullah and the passports obtained from the bodies, six of the dead are Germans and two of them were Americans,” Kentooz said.

Three German women were among those killed, he said.

The German embassy in Kabul said they were “verifying the reports”. US embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: “We have reason to believe that several American citizens are among the deceased.”

A medical charity that treats people with eye problems said it suspected the victims were its personnel.

“We have been informed that 10 people, both foreign and Afghan, were murdered in Badakhshan,” it said. “It is likely that they are members of the International Assistance Mission (IAM) eye camp team.”

“If these reports are confirmed we object to this senseless killing of people who have done nothing but serve the poor. Some of the foreigners have worked alongside the Afghan people for decades,” it said.

“This tragedy negatively impacts our ability to continue serving the Afghan people as IAM has been doing since 1966. We hope it will not stop our work that benefits over a quarter of a million Afghans each year,” it added.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told DPA by phone from an undisclosed location that their fighters killed nine foreigners, including four women, in Nuristan province Friday.

He claimed the victims were “Christian missionaries”, who had gathered intelligence information from the area. “We recovered espionage documents from them.”

Taliban militants and fighters from the associated Hezbi Islami group are active in the province.

The province saw the fiercest battle in the region last month, in which hundreds of Taliban fighters fought with hundreds of Afghan police and NATO forces over control of Barg-e-Matal district.

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