The International Committee of the Red Cross has decided to “drastically” reduce the number of its relief workers in Afghanistan after seven of its employees were killed in attacks earlier this year.
The humanitarian organization said on Monday the decision was prompted by growing dangers facing its aid workers, who have increasingly fallen victim to militancy in Afghanistan over the past 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 militant activity.
The group has suffered a series of deadly attacks in northern Afghanistan, where Taliban and Daesh militants have intensified their assaults on police and troops.