The attack began at 9.50 pm local time, when a group of armed men entered the HALO camp in the northern Baghlan province “and went to bed killing members of the HALO Trust,” charity chief James Cowan told CNN .
About 110 men from the towns were in the camp at the time. Cowan said the gunmen wanted to identify their minority members from the Hazara Shiite community, adding that “when our staff refused to give their names, the militants went from house to house killing our staff.”
Cowan said members of a Taliban faction – blamed by the Afghan government for the attack – came to the rescue during the attack.
“The Taliban in the area came to our rescue and drove the attackers away,” Cowan said.
The Taliban, which is fighting to overthrow the Afghan government, has denied involvement in the Reuters attacks.
Cowan said that despite the attack – and the expected removal of U.S. and NATO troops later this year – charitable de-miners “still have a role to play.”
“We may be scared of what is happening in Afghanistan. But we were there before 9/11. Ten years had passed before then. We have gone through all the hardships of life and death in Afghanistan. But now the international community is prepare. to leave. We will stay, “he said.
The HALO Trust was founded in Afghanistan in 1988 and currently operates in 26 countries, including Angola, where – in 1997 – Princess Diana famously toured one of the mines.
The United Nations has called for a full investigation “to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice and brought to justice,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.,, Reuters reports.
The Halo Trust is the largest destruction organization in the country and after decades of conflict, Afghanistan is still ravaged by unexploded ordnance and industrialists working to eliminate them since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 .
The Taliban have attacked government forces in 26 of the 34 districts, but rebels have taken control of more than 10 areas recently, government officials said.