Attack On Road Crew Kills 18 And Injures 7 In Afghanistan

Attack On Road Crew Kills 18 And Injures 7 In Afghanistan
April 9th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Attack On Road Crew Kills 18 And Injures 7 In Afghanistan

Attack On Road Crew Kills 18 And Injures 7 In Afghanistan
New York Times
April 9, 2008 By Abdul Waheed Wafa and Carlotta Gall
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents ambushed a group of road construction workers and their security guards early on Tuesday, killing 18 of the guards and wounding seven, Afghanistan officials said. It was one of the worst attacks here in months.
The ambush happened in Zabul Province, about 30 miles from the provincial capital, in a remote mountainous area near the Pakistan border, said Gulab Shah Ali Kheil, the deputy governor of Zabul.
The construction company was surveying a new road linking the provincial capital to Shinkay district. The area has always been considered dangerous because it is a route to the mountainous areas of southern Afghanistan for Taliban fighters from Pakistan.
The group of surveyors and laborers were well guarded and moving in a convoy through a valley to start work on the road when insurgents opened fire on the guards, said Muhammad Younus, the project manager for the Fazlullah Construction Engineering Company. No one in the construction crew was hurt because the guards took the brunt of the attack and battled the Taliban for several hours before an Afghan Army unit arrived.
“The victims who were killed and injured are all our security guards, and all of our technical team survived,” Mr. Younus said by telephone.
“It was a real tragedy today that killed the innocent boys who were working just for $150 a month,” he said. The guards were all young employees of the company, he said. The Afghan Army unit fought off the Taliban and killed and wounded several of the attackers, the deputy governor said.
The attack was the latest of several clashes around the country in recent days and might signal an increase in violence with the arrival of warmer weather, when the insurgent activity tends to increase. The Taliban and the Afghan Defense Ministry have warned that 2008 will be another bloody year. During a visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the International Committee for the Red Cross, also expressed concern about the increase in violence and the suffering the fighting had caused.
“We are extremely concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement to reporters on his arrival. “There is growing insecurity and a clear intensification of the armed conflict, which is no longer limited to the south but has spread to the east and west.
“The harsh reality is that in large parts of Afghanistan, little development is taking place. Instead, the conflict is forcing more and more people to flee their homes,” he said. “Their growing humanitarian needs and those of other vulnerable people must be met as a matter of urgency.”