(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Violence has ramped up in Afghanistan as the United States is in the process of withdrawing all their troops from the region.
Late on Tuesday night local time, 16 charity workers were wounded and 10 were killed when gunmen started shooting in Afghanistan. The mine-clearing organization has been working in Afghanistan for decades.
There were about 110 workers at the camp when the shooting began on Tuesday, HALO Trust confirmed in a Wednesday statement. The group said:
“We strongly condemn the attack on our staff, who were carrying out humanitarian work to save lives. We are [focused] now on care of the injured staff and supporting the families affected.
“We condemn attacks on the defenseless & view it as brutality. We have normal relations with NGOs, our Mujahidin will never carry out such brutal acts.”
While HALO Trust officials said they didn’t know what group was behind the attack, a spokesperson for the Afghan Interior Ministry said the Taliban was responsible. Thus far, though, the Taliban has denied they were responsible for the shooting.
HALO Trust is one organization that has been working in Afghanistan for decades to clear out land mines that have been left behind. The country was littered with the weapons following 40 years of various conflicts the country had with many different foreign militaries.
To date, HALO Trust said it has made 80% of the “recorded minefields and battlefields” in Afghanistan safe for people. Now, the group that has been working so hard to make life safe for Afghans has been targeted for violence.
This is just the latest incident in rising violent tensions in the region. The Taliban and military in Afghanistan have clashed a number of times now since President Joe Biden said he’d withdrawal all troops from the region by September 11 — which marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Even though the Biden administration announced the full withdrawal, it was not up to the Taliban’s standards or expectations. Under an agreement signed with Afghanistan and the United States under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. had a spring deadline to withdrawal all troops.
That didn’t happen, of course, and now tensions are rising. Many critics of Biden’s have said that now is not the time to remove U.S. troops from the region. The absence of the American military is likely to result in escalating violence, critics say, especially against the most vulnerable populations in the country.
Now, that scenario is playing out right before everyone’s eyes in Afghanistan.
The New York Times reported that witnesses at the scene of the attack on HALO Trust say the attackers were searching for members of the minority Hazara Shia group who were in the organization’s camp.
ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan have long targeted the Hazaras. A May attack on the group at a school killed more than 80 people, in fact.