News - Afghanistan
A group of unknown gunmen on Monday night killed nine aid agency workers from the Czech Republic's People in Need organization - among them a woman - in northern Balkh province, local officials said.
Meanwhile in a statement, President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned killing of aid workers and called the perpetrators "enemies of progress and development in Afghanistan."
Calling it a "coward act," Ghani has ordered the interior ministry to launch investigations and arrest the perpetrators.
The incident took place in Zare district after a number of insurgents attacked the aid agency's compound, a spokesman for Provincial Governor, Ahmad Muneer Farhad said.
"First they shot dead two security guards of the aid agency. After that they shot dead nine employees among them a woman," he said.
According to officials, the Czech agency works with farmers in the province and helps provide them with seed.
Farhad said so far no one has been arrested over the attack and police have started investigations.
No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
People in Need (PIN) has worked in Afghanistan since 2001. The mission focuses on more than just humanitarian aid, seeking to find long-term solutions to the systemic problems in the sectors of education, livelihoods and rural development. In keeping with the organizational approach, PIN focuses heavily on contact in the field, and on areas that are more remote. Working closely with local investors to develop and implement projects, PIN has achieved a higher level of sustainability.
PIN Afghanistan is the organization's largest mission with numerous offices spread across a number of provinces.