Red Cross to reduce Afghanistan presence after deadly attacks

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KABUL: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will “drastically” reduce operations in war-torn Afghanistan after seven of its employees were killed in attacks this year, the aid organization said on Monday. The decision by the charity, which has been working in Afghanistan for over three decades, underlines the growing dangers for aid workers, who have increasingly become casualties of a surge in militant violence in recent years. “We have no choice but to drastically reduce our presence and activities in Afghanistan,” Monica Zanarelli, the ICRC head in Afghanistan, told reporters. “Exposure to risk has become our greater challenge in Afghanistan, and we know that zero risk doesn’t exist and we are not aiming at that, but our security has to be guaranteed by every party,” she said. The humanitarian group will close its facilities in the northern city of Maimana, the capital of Faryab province, and in Kunduz province, also in the north and a hotbed of Taliban activity. Operations in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif will be scaled back.

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AFP

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