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Taliban arrests 18 International Assistance Mission employees

2023 Sep 16, 9:41, Kabul [Afghanistan]

The Taliban on Friday arrested 18 International Assistance Mission (IAM) employees in Ghor province of Afghanistan, including an international staff member, reported Khaama Press.

Since the arrest, they have been taken to Kabul.

However, the arrests took place in two separate incidents, according to Khaama Press.

On September 3, three individuals were detained, and, recently, the remaining 15 were arrested, the organization stated as per the statement by IAM, reported Khaama Press.

The International Assistance Mission (IAM) in a statement shared deep concern and grief towards the detention of its employees.

Moreover, IAM further reported that all 18 detainees have been transferred to Kabul.

However, the organization has not mentioned the exact cause yet, but the Taliban's Ghor spokesperson suggested the arrests were due to the alleged promotion of Christianity, reported Khaama Press.

“We are unaware of the circumstances that led to these incidents and have not been advised of the reason for the detention of our staff members. The well-being and security of our colleagues are paramount to us, and we are doing everything possible to ensure their safety and secure their swift release,” IAM said in a release, according to Khaama Press.

Meanwhile, IAM reaffirmed its dedication to secure the release of its detained employees and expressed its resolve to maintain operations in Afghanistan.

However, the IAM has invested over USD 40 million in enhancing healthcare, education and community development in Afghanistan.

IAM is vigilantly tracking evolving developments and actively striving for the safe return of its employees, reported Khaama Press.

Earlier, the US' special envoy to Afghanistan, Thomas West has underlined serious challenges impeding de-facto authorities' efforts to normalise relations with the international community, the majority of which are the result of their policies, reported Khaama Press.

He emphasised that such normalisation is difficult until there is a significant change in their treatment of the populace, anticipating that the international community will remain united.

The Taliban (IEA) must prioritise meeting security duties, West said, according to Khaama Press.

The international community and the US insist that the current Afghan leadership establish a more inclusive political structure that protects women's rights to education and work. 


Afghanistan Taliban International Assistance Mission IAM Ghor province Kabul
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