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6 Americans on Medical Mission Killed in Afghanistan

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Old 08-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default 6 Americans on Medical Mission Killed in Afghanistan

6 Americans Among Foreign Doctors Killed in Afghanistan

6 Americans on Medical Mission Killed in Afghanistan

(Aug. 7) -- Six Americans, a Briton and a German all working for a Christian medical charity in Afghanistan have been ambushed and killed by militants, their group said today.

Two Afghan translators were also killed with the eight foreign aid workers – three women and five men – whom they'd been helping. Their bodies were found riddled with bullets next to their abandoned vehicles in a mountainous area of Badakhshan province, the provincial police chief told The New York Times.

The victims were a group of foreign medical personnel who'd been working at an eye care center in remote Nuristan, and were returning to the Afghan capital when they were ambushed, the International Assistance Mission said in a statement on its website. The charity lost contact with the group on Wednesday evening, and a local shepherd later found their bodies and alerted Afghan police, CNN reported.

"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," the IAM statement said, noting that the charity has worked in Afghanistan since 1966, making it the longest-serving NGO there.

This is one of the largest death tolls for foreign aid workers in Afghanistan in a single incident, and the deadliest episode for American civilians there since a suicide bomber killed seven CIA agents at a base in eastern Afghanistan last year. It also underscores the danger for charity workers there, whom the Taliban often view as collaborators with U.S. and NATO forces, rather than humanitarian non-combatants. Earlier this summer, gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the northern Afghan offices of the U.S.-based DAI charity, killing at least five people.

One of the victims of this week's ambush, a female British doctor identified as 36-year-old Karen Woo, had set up a Facebook page for the fated Nuristan expedition, requesting donations for the charity and posting photos of herself and Afghan children. Another photo shows at least two SUVs on a rocky path in Nuristan surrounded by snow-capped mountains, in a hauntingly idyllic scene not far from where the group was killed.

Woo also wrote a blog for another group, Bridge Afghanistan, which is carrying a message from one of her colleagues today, noting the "terrible news" and confirming the doctor's death. Before departing for Nuristan, Woo wrote that the expedition would "require a lot of physical and mental resolve and will not be without risk."

"But ultimately, I believe that the provision of medical treatment is of fundamental importance and that the effort is worth it in order to assist those that need it most," she wrote.

Also among those killed was Tom Little, an American optometrist from Delmar, N.Y., who'd been working with IAM in Afghanistan for decades, supervising eye hospitals in Kabul and smaller clinics in several other towns. He was one of those forced to evacuate the country in August 2001, after eight Christian aid workers were arrested for allegedly trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. But he returned to live in Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion.

Nothing was left behind at the scene of the attack – passports, wallets nor any of the medical professionals' equipment or personal items – suggesting robbery could have been a motive. But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told VOA News and other agencies that his group's fighters suspected the doctors of being "Christian missionaries."

"We killed them all," Mujahed was quoted as saying. He didn't offer proof, and it's possible that bandits were instead to blame. In the past, the Taliban has misleadingly claimed responsibility for attacks to exaggerate its power.

Badakhshan is a mainly ethnic Tajik province of northern Afghanistan that borders neighboring Tajikistan. Ironically, it was one of the few Afghan provinces that was autonomous and not under tight Taliban control when the Islamic militia ruled Afghanistan before the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

Once its work was completed in Nuristan, the medical group had decided to head back to Kabul via Badakhshan because they thought it would be the safest route, IAM director Dirk Frans told The Associated Press.

A third Afghan man who'd been traveling with the group survived the ambush and is being questioned by police, the provincial police chief, Gen. Agha Noor Kemtuz, told Al-Jazeera.

"He told me he was shouting and reciting the holy Quran and saying 'I am Muslim. Don't kill me'," Kemtuz said. He said the survivor described how the group was surrounded by armed men on the road and then attacked, and the doctors were shot to death one by one.


Sad news indeed, my thoughts go out to the families of the innocent victims
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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Barbarians...killing Doctors that would help their kids.

Yeah....that makes a lot of sense.

Killing just for the sake of killing becasue that's what they do.

They ought to be hunted down like the vermin they are and hung until their heads popped off.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear it. The Taliban claims they were spies and preaching. Wonder if they would have been so bold if someone hadn't told them we're leaving soon....
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:30 PM   #4
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This is what happens when a bunch of Washington pu@@ies call the shots and force our troops to fight under restrictive ROE that do more for the enemy than to them. If these cowards knew they would be hunted down and killed like the dogs they are they would think twice about ambushing unarmed non-combatants. Instead, we worry so much about collateral damage we go so far as to prosecute our own guys for "illegal" kills, some moron even ordered his unit out on patrol with "cold"

If our guys aren't there for the win just bring them home.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Well, being how they were a Christian group and the Taliban purportedly killed them on those grounds alone, I cannot see how the Muslims can hide any longer on the basis that their "religion" is peaceful.....


I sure hope (and simultaneously doubt) that BHO decides to turn the whole area into a sheet of glass upon exit.......
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:59 AM   #6
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Number 1 False H.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”Samuel Adams
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:09 AM   #7
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I wonder what the reaction will be............if any at all.

One thing for sure, one day there will be a reckoning.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:24 AM   #8
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bomb the place into glass and be done. They will teach their children through fear to do the same thing they are DOING NOW. Cut the head off the snake and be done with it. If you grab the tiger by the tail like we have done now you can never let go safely. Get it done and leave the politicians out of it. They only make it worse for the troops and the cause. God bless the souls of those poor doctors that were there to heal.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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I am less saddened by the loss of these well intentioned, but misguided, people than I was by the front page of the Houston Chronicle yesterday where there was a front page photo of yet another fine young US Marine being brought home from Afghanistan in a flag draped casket

While these civilians were there to do good works and help the Afghan people, there was no way that they could ever have been safe in their mission. Even God could not have protected them in that sewer of Muslim evil called Afghanistan.

Back to the US Marine. I cheered when we began the bombing campaign in Afganistan soon after 9-11. I cheered when we invaded Iraq and when we caputred and then executed Sadam Hussein. I have a US Marine son who spent 7 months at Al Asad airbase in Iraq, and a step-daughter (USAF Nurse) who spent 6 months at an airbase north of Baghdad. So I had some skin in that game.

I grieved for every single US serviceman or servicewoman that was lost in Iraq, but I believed that we could prevail, and that a positive outcome that would change the Middle East forever could be achieved. Maybe in Iraq that will eventually happen.

But I have come to believe that Afghanistan cannot be changed. I no longer believe that there is any chance that such a backward, fanatic and completely uncivilized area can ever become anything that we would recognize as a modern country living in the current century. I am sorry to say that I believe that our mission there is hopeless.

I have no strategy to offer that I think would work. I do not think that there is a modern Western civilization type of answer to a 7th century fanatical and totally barbaric Muslim culture.

Maybe there will be a chance of success if the Western world wakes up to the fact that we are at war with a culture, and that we are Rome with the Barbarians at the gate. Maybe then we would then allow the US military to solve this problem permanently without a bunch of pantywaisted moralizers wringing their hands. Then maybe we could achieve a higher level of global peace and security.

But for now, I think we should seriously think about the value we can actually expect to gain for the incalculable costs we have paid and will pay more, such as the young US Marine on the front page of the paper yesterday.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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I am not sure there is a solutiuon as such, Tex. The people that were there to do humanitarian work wore some pretty rose colored glasses thinking they were helping people that wanted to be helped.

Every Soldier, Marine, Airman or Sailor that goes there thinks, or thought, they were working for the US Military to complete a mission. The situation has digressed to a war being run by some fat n' happy, overpaid, clueless politician watching news feeds from his office on Capitol Hill instead of by trained, experienced military commanders with boots on the ground.

Pack up and go home is the only way out at this point. How can you bomb a country back to the stone age when they never left it to begin with?
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