Ten aid workers have been murdered in Afghanistan including six Americans. The Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack on an International Assistance Mission medical team. The attack is one of the deadliest for American aid workers since the Afghanistan war began.
According to the director of IAM, Dirk Frans, the Taliban murdered ten people execution-style for their Christianity.
The medical group included 6 American workers, one German, one Briton and two Afghan translators. Frans told AP news that the International Assistance Mission is registered as a nonprofit Christian organization but does not proselytize.
A member of the Taliban sent a text message to Afghan reporters claiming responsibility for the killings. According to reports the group of Americans were killed because they were teaching Christianity to Afghans.
The medical aid team consisted of eight foreign workers and two Afghans. The driver of the team was the only survivor.
The organization confirmed in a statement on their website that "it is likely" the dead are members of their eye camp team, which had been in the Nuristan province at the invitation of the communities there.
After having completed their work, the doctors were returning to Kabul at the time of the incident, according to IAM’s statement.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed responsibility for the attack, saying: "Yesterday at around 8am, one of our patrols confronted a group of foreigners. They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all,” according to Sky News.
He added that they were carrying Persian-language Bibles and a satellite-tracking device with maps.
Frans told AP that Tom Little, an optometrist from New York who had been working in Afghanistan for more than thirty years, was among the dead. He was the team leader.
The statement on IAM’s website 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.”
• Bodies of slain aid workers identified in Afghanistan
• Photos of eight of the slain workers in Afghanistan