BEIRUT

Middle East

Two foreign aid workers killed in western Afghanistan

Afghan residents buy watermelons at a busy market during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Herat province on July 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Aref Karimi

KABUL: Two foreign aid workers with an international Christian organization were shot dead Thursday in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, a regional official said.

The attack comes at a sensitive time as Afghanistan audits votes from a disputed presidential election to pick a successor to the incumbent, Hamid Karzai.

Foreign troops, which have been fighting the Taliban since 2001, are withdrawing from the country this year, leaving Afghan forces to maintain security.

"The two women who were gunned down were working in the health sector for a foreign aid organisation in Herat," provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi told Reuters.

Two gunmen on a motorbike approached the aid workers' taxi and opened fire, he said. The victims' nationalities were not immediately clear.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said the two worked for International Assistance Mission, a Christian group that has worked in Afghanistan since 1966.

In a separate incident, explosives attached to a motorbike went off in the northern province of Takhar, killing six civilians and wounding 28 people, the interior ministry said.

 

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