Afghanistan mine clearance workers shot dead ‘in cold blood’
At least 10 Afghani mineworkers employed by Halo Trust have died after a shooting in the northern province of Baghlan. More than a dozen were wounded during the shooting. Afghan officials have pointed to the Taliban as the party responsible for the attack, stating that militants began to blindly shoot in the compound. However, Halo Trust CEO James Cowan told media outlets that the local Taliban group was at the scene of the assault, however, they scared the assailants off and assisted the mine clearers. The Taliban has denied any responsibility for the attack.
Violence in Afghanistan has surged since the US began to withdraw its last troops and decrease its presence in the country. The US is set to be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, however, officials believe that the withdrawal may be complete even earlier. The departure of international troops comes amid deadlock in peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. The latest incident occurred on Tuesday night. A Taliban spokesman stated that they denounce attacks against the defenseless, stating that their Mujahideen would never conduct such a brutal attack. It remains unclear what party would be suspected if the Taliban was not responsible.