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Norwegian doctor killed by Taliban

(Leger Uten Grenser)
The Norwegian Doctor Egil Kristian Tynæs and four other aid workers from Doctors Without Borders were killed in an ambush in north western Afghanistan Wednesday.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on the five aid workers, a Norwegian, a Dutchman, a Belgian and two Afghanis.

Eirik Bergesen, head of information at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), confirms that a Norwegian in the aid organization was killed in Afghanistan.

«We have been in contact with Doctors Without Borders and have stated that UD is available to provide assistance at the Norwegian embassy in Kabul,» said Bergesen to TV 2 Nettavisen.

Doctors Without Borders stated on their website that the Norwegian killed in the attack was 62-year-old Egil Kristian Tynæs from Bergen. He was on his second mission to Afghanistan for the organization, and he normally worked as a director of medicine at Bergen legevakt.

The members of the organization were shocked when they were informed of the death of their colleague and expressed sympathy with Tynæs’ family.

«This is terrible news, and we are all in shock,» said Lars Schwed Nygård, acting head of information at Doctors Without Borders, Norway.

The circumstances around the tragic event have not yet been established.

«We have been informed that the car they were travelling in was attacked, but we do not know if it was shot at or it was a missile attack,» Schwed Nygård explained.

A total of 70 doctors from the international aid organization are currently stationed in Afghanistan. The volunteer doctors are normally deployed for three to twelve months. Before they are stationed abroad they are given thorough training in safety which is going to prepare them for working in unstable areas.

According to Schwed Nygård, it is still unclear whether or not the organization will continue its work in Afghanistan after this attack.

The attack took place at Khair Khana, about 55 miles west of the Afghani capital Kabul, according to the Associate Press. This is the worst attack on aid workers since the fall of Taliban, and a spokesperson for the Taliban has stated that they claim responsibility for the attack.

Amir Shah Nayebzada, the province’s chief of police, stated that he suspects that remaining representatives for the Taliban were behind the attacks, in spite of the fact that Taliban is concentrated in the southern and eastern part of the country.

«This appears to be a politically motivated action, most likely executed by Taliban soldiers. We see no reason why any others would be behind such an attack,» Nayebzada said to Reuters.

The attack occurred only ten days after a Norwegian soldier from Telemarksbataljonen was killed in Kabul.

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