Taliban Executes 10 International Medical Team Members

The Taliban in Afghanistan has owned up to the killing of ten members of the International Assistance Mission, a nonprofit Christian organization that has been serving the people of the South Asian country for more than 40 years.

The IAM’s director, Dirk Frans, said on Saturday that six Americans, one German, a Briton, and two Afghans were killed as they were headed to Kabul after concluding a two-week trip to Nuristan province, where they conducted a health mission in several remote villages in the area. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Muhjad confirmed that the militants were behind the killing, saying in an interview with the Associated Press that the group executed the medical team members for “spying for the Americans” and promoting Christianity.

The IAM is registered as a nonprofit Christian group, although there is no evidence that it has been spreading Christianity in Afghanistan. Frans said the incident could have negative effects on the continuation of the group’s mission in the war-torn country. “We hope it will not stop our work that benefits over a quarter of a million Afghans each year.”

The victims were found on Friday in the Kuran Wa Munjan district. An Afghan member of the team who survived the attack reported the incident to Frans also on Friday, two days since the IAM director lost contact with team leader Tom Little, who was among those who were killed.