Afghanistan gunmen kill 2 working for relief agency

, August 5, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan: Gunmen killed two Afghans working for a German relief agency in southeastern Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. It was another blow to the country's shaky security in the run-up to October elections.

The U.S. military forecast more attacks on civilians - possibly even a major attack on the capital - as tension and violence continue to mount in the run-up to landmark October elections.

The aid workers killed Tuesday were returning from work on a project run by the Malteser aid agency in the Zurmat district of Paktia, 75 miles south of Kabul, when a passing vehicle fired at their car.

The warlords and private militias who were once regarded as the west's staunchest allies in Afghanistan are now a greater threat to the country's security than the Taliban, according to the interim president, Hamid Karzai.

The Guardian (London), July 13, 2004

Mohammed Idrees Sadiq died at the scene, and Emal Abdul Samad died after being flown to a U.S. military hospital at Bagram, north of Kabul, the group said.

The German group said it was "shocked," and suspended its activities in the region until further notice.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

Civilians have been increasingly targeted in a wave of violence this year that has left more than 700 dead, including 24 aid workers killed in attacks blamed mainly on Taliban militants.

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