August 7th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Taliban kills 10 doctors

Gunmen in the remote northeastern region of Afghanistan shot and killed 10 members of a medical team, police said Saturday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred Thursday.

Among the dead were six Americans, two Afghans, a Briton, and a German, said Dirk Frans, director of International Assistance Mission. He said two other Afghans on the team are alive.

The gunmen stopped the victims on a road, took their belongings and shot them one by one, said Aqa Nwor Kentoz, police chief of northern Badakhshan province. An Afghan was released because he was reciting excerpts from the Quran, Kentoz said.

The foreigners were believed to have been doctors, according to the police chief.

The mission - a non-governmental organization - has provided a number of services, including eye care and internal medicine for decades. Frans said the people were killed in what police said was a robbery.

The website said an eye-care team had been in Nuristan province "at the invitation of communities there. After having completed their medical work the team was returning to Kabul."

Hans Ronnlund, the assistant to the executive director of the mission group, denied statements by the Taliban that the medical staff was carrying Bibles. Ronnlund said the International Assistance Mission is a humanitarian development organization formed by various Christian groups, but said medical staffers do not carry Bibles.

"We cannot understand how they can say that," he said.

Badakhshan, bordered by Tajikistan to the north and Pakistan to the south, is a sparsely populated region comprised of a majority Tajik population and an Uzbek and Kyrgyz minority. Badakhshan was the only province that was not controlled by the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan.

This tragedy negatively impacts our ability to continue serving the Afghan people," said an online statement about the organization's work in Afghanistan since 1966. "We hope it will not stop our work that benefits over a quarter of a million Afghans each year."

In Afghanistan's southern Helamnd province, international and Afghan forces killed 14 insurgents in an exchange of fire, said NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In a separate bombing incident, two Afghans were killed and five others wounded near Heyderabad, in Helmand province.

Also Saturday, ISAF reported the deaths of two international service members in a bombing in southern Afghanistan. Their nationalities were not yet disclosed.

CNN's Samson Desta, Jill Dougherty and Matiullah Mati contributed to this report.

Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. kai

    I'm still shocked! Words can't describe how angry I am. I met one of the victims at the conference I attended last year in San Francisco, all he wanted was to help the people in Afghanistan, may them rest in peace!

    August 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bernard

    Seriously? Your response to horrifying news like this is to quote scripture? Can't you see that montheism is the problem here?

    August 12, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. saladintemp

    Jesus Christ knew about danger. He told us to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." These poor victims were not wise. We have to adapt to realities that aren't so new any more. Humanitarian missions should always stay in one secure location. The needy should go there, not dummies to the needy. If needy are killed en route to the mission, it only hurts the cause of the murderers, e.g. bad PR for them. Duh!

    August 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. USMC Forever

    All that education and no common sense, this should be a lesson to all aid workers and Doctors. This race of animals do not deserve any help what so ever. I can't kill these dogs quick enough so stop helping them. It won't matter, once I have them sighted in at 1000 meters with my .50 cal they just splat and fall down. Oh well tough $**t next case. When are we as Americans realize these animals need to be eliminated and not helped????? What a waste!!! GOD, I wish I could have these Talibani dogs in my sights when this was going down!!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Forever

      Hey,stop posting under my name,will you?If you want to vomit your right-wing ignorance,at least use your own name!!!

      August 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Don't feel bad,USMC Forever,they do it to me all the time!

        August 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • dwight huth

        Wrong,Bledsoe.It was me and I had you fooled!Lol.

        August 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom Posey

        Actually it was me!

        August 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dan

    So what if they were carrying Bibles! so what if Afghans wants to convert to Christianity, so what if Afghans wish they don't want to be part of Islam anymore the more reason why we are there, Afghans have no freedom even to choose which religion they wish to be part of.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. ronvan

    For me there are some questions to be asked. 1. Were these doctors really doctors? 2. How long had the 10 been "in country". 3. Were they "registered" and known in Afganistan, as their group says? 4. Where they armed, and if so why? 5. Why, as we are told, that 2 Afgans. were allowed to leave? 6. Did the Taliban actually do this, or was it some other radicals acting on their own, and the Taliban just trying to get attention? Now you could contnue to ask many more questions but are they really justified? Just heard on the news that this group was actually on foot, going into the mountains, to provide medical care? Stupidity or something else?

    August 9, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      These are the real questions ronvan may be we 'll never know the tuth!

      August 9, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      It does not take a lot of effort to find out. "Dr Abdullah dismissed the Taliban's claims as "ridiculous".
      He said he had trained with the medical team's leader, Tom Little, an optometrist from New York who had lived and worked in the country since the 1970s." Source BBC.

      August 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. salerno


    August 9, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. salerno

    CanUfixit I fundamentally agree, but by one side we have false interpretation of every religion you mentioned wich I have all studied and appreciated in their orthodoxy doctrin and consider all equally godd at the origin. On the other side we have non religious people who want only make money without respect for the life.

    August 9, 2010 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Again,salerno,well put.

      August 9, 2010 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        What is your excuse?

        August 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CanUfixit

    Listening to these comments from pro-Moslems, Pro-Christians and other religions. Religion is the opium of the masses. If your religious beliefs are teaching you to steal, murder, torture, abuse the weaker gender, and breeds hatred and constant deception; you need to revise it in your mind & souls, be a non-conformist. All will be judged, you won't be able to say somene else made U do it. To thine own self be true.These health workers were murdered by murderers.

    August 9, 2010 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
    • atal

      Very true, whatever excuse they try to make for their disgusting behavior is just that an excuse but their actions are not excusable.

      August 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. salerno

    Do you think you are the only in the world to have the nuke bomb ?

    August 9, 2010 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marshall

    Stupid F***ing Haji ragheads. We try to help you and this is how we are paid back? simple solution nuke them all and let god sort them out. We should not lose anymore american lives. And After we kill the Taliban all we need to do is kill these stupid teabaggers!!!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Will you stop that Tea Party lingo,Marshall?It makes me sick.

      August 9, 2010 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Listen to him he makes a lot of sense.

        August 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. salerno

    This is an old war propaganda falsification made to get support for the military operations

    August 9, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Well put,salerno.

      August 9, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Evan Mark

      hahahahaha. OH? is it? funny, because I'm on the left and have absolutely NO connection to the military whasoever.

      August 10, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. USAF

    Hey,you left me out!

    August 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y2J

      I guess that you must feel hurt about it.I would if I were to excluded from something,especially by being snubbed by right-wing fanatics who keep on vomiting their ignrance in here.

      August 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • USAF

      You are right i did. And what did God call Ishmael?!? A wild donkey and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

      August 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Y2J

      And what did God call Ishmael?!? A wild donkey!! and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

      August 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwight huth

      Now you left me out!

      August 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew Lubin

    I'd rather speak for myself.So stop hijacking my I,please.

    August 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Islam Sucks


    August 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Lubin

      Can you use another ID?The one you're using now just might offend the Muslims and please the right-wing thugs in Washington and I don't want that,do you???

      August 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwight huth

      good screen name because it is true All followers of Islam is sons of concubine.

      August 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Smith in Oregon

    If Christian verses spewed around me are not seen nor perceived to have been uttered as a curse or urge to cause me or loved ones harm then I personally do not care. Others are far less tolerant however. Do I think shooting a bible thumper is extreme? Yes, but I don't carry a machine gun either. Virtually all Christian US Military clergy urges their followers to go out and murder a rag-head, blast those Ayatollahs and get some. I do not see any discernible difference from what Military Chaplin's tell the troops to do to 'the enemy's'.

    The lines have indeed become blurred over the crass US Military's broad description of 'The Taliban' which undoubtedly now consists of many angry Afghanistan people whose children and wives were murdered by American and NATO soldiers either on purpose or by faulty information. The corruption within the 'shake and bake' Karzai government's regional branches appears to be so extreme, the village and city residents overwhelming chose the Taliban as being less 'corrupt'. Yes, I fully agree, any groups of bandits or even misdeeds by an American or NATO platoon is going to be blamed on 'The Taliban'.

    While the majority of Afghanistan people are largely uneducated, many of them are fully aware of America's co-creation with Pakistan to produce Al Qaeda and 'The Taliban' in the 1980's to fight the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. 30 Years of Afghanistan women, children and men being blown up, harassed, tortured and merely surviving because of America's involvement in that region, right or wrong the Afghanistan people are largely becoming less than tolerant of anyone they see as being a occupier and a outsider.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Well put Smith, well put !

      August 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Tom Posey

    And what did God call Ishmael?!? A wild donkey and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. salerno

    And what did God call Ishmael?!! A wild donkey and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      this is not my post

      August 9, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  19. Onesmallvoice

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey!!! and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Joseph McCarthy

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey!! and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      How dare you to use my name like this in order to tear down someone's religion!You right-wing nuts will stop at nothing to stir up hatred against Islam! Including this latest farce.Have you no shame at all???

      August 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Grimlock

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey? and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanUfixit

      Go into God Hates the you will see what a group of radical Christians have to say about the atrocities happening in other countries in the world.Very judgemental but close to true.

      August 9, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  22. Daniel-2

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey! and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey and that is what all his descendant seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    And what did God call Ishmael? A wild donkey and that is what all his descendants seem to have turned out to be!

    August 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Neo

    I really wish Indian RAW (intelligence agency) is smart and powerful. If that's the case, there would have been no Pakistan by now :p.

    And it's not only Pakistan, its every Islamic nation that thinks that the whole world is against them. Someone else in these forums asked a good question: What do these Islamic countries have that the whole world is bent on destroying them and occupying their land? They got no money, no technology, no innovation, no industry (oil?), no fertile land, nothing to preserve, people not worth spending money on, totally dependent on the western world for survival.. I mean no one wants anything from them. Why do they think that everyone else is hell bent on destroying them? When other countries are reaching for moon and looking outside, they are still in their box lingering around their caves. It's like they have issues with everyone and everything. They would have been far better if they invested all their energy in development instead of thinking how to destroy. Quite unfortunate.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Nevertheless islamic countries has been occupied in the last 200 years and recently Iran was attacked by Saddam with the help of USA, later USA promoted 2 wars against Iraq and another against Afghanistan. They are preparing to do something versus Pakistan and Iran also. Oil is a clear reason why there is so much "interest" versus the islamic countries.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  26. salerno

    I hope that India and Pakistan canreach an accord about Kashmir. Muslim and Hindu traditions are both valuable as they are the oldest and the latest in time, and both are very tolerant. I see the real risk in Nu con : they are completely false christians.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Joseph McCarthy

    Had the Communists won this war 30 years ago,these people wouldn't just still be alive,they'd be welcome with open arms and doing what they love to do.It just proves how ignorant these right-wing fools can be by fighting the Communists.Besides,those two buddhist statues,built in the third century A.D. would still be standing today.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Y2J

      Joe,how right you are!!! Need I say more?

      August 8, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Neo

      Its really sad to see those Buddhist Statues go down. And its really sad to see people who wanted to help get gunned down like this.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • This probably was stolen



      Your ID is "Joseph McCarthy", the most rabid anti-communist senator in US history, and your supporting communism.


      August 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        I was wrong.Haven't you ever made a mistake or do you know anybody who has not?We're all fallable!

        August 9, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |

    Y2J,will you stop with your right-wing mumbo-jumbo?We already have more than enough right-wing idiots belching their ignorance here.How old it gets!!!Wise up.please!

    August 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  29. USMC Forever

    I expect to see a lot of right-wing nutjobs blog all kinds of ignorant remarks over this incident! It goes to show just how successful the right-wing fanatics have been in brainwashing the public.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      You just took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you for your imput.

      August 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwight huth

      You stole USMC Forever call sign because you are a pig and a son of concubine. You Paki POS

      August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Greg K.S

    "If Jesus condemned it and any one called it truth" – really did not understand it. Please explain more.

    Why do you guys hate everyone else? Why do you guys have issues with everyone around the world? You guys don't have money, don't have good land, most of the islamic countries are poor and are dependent on the our world for their survival... why do you think that the whole world is against you?

    August 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  31. C Lasalle

    You smoking pipe or something?You guys have issues with everyone else in the world.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Greg K.S

    Whatever is in the bible is the truth. Ignore at your own peril.

    August 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jerald.

    May God rest their souls in peace and may He also restore PEACE,LOVE & UNITY in the whole world.

    August 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Anup K. Sen

    It is very sad. General Petraeus should take step to REDUCE/ELIMINATE American soldiers dying or getting injured. Like in manufacturing industry when we loose product we make the Manager responsible for the loss. In military we should make the local Commanders responsible for the loss of soldiers. If number goes up ,we should replace, fire or transfer those commanders. They should do more intelligence work brfore making any engagement-THAT IS NOT HAPPENING. WE MUST STOP LOOSING OUR SOLDIERS. WE MUST TAKE ACTION NOW . OUR SOLDIERS ARE AT HIGH RISK WHICH CAN BE PREVENTED!!!!

    August 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neo

      It's quite a pathetic and lame attempt to blame this on someone else. You are probably one of those lunatics who says 911 is an inside job. I pity you and your kind. May your lord really have mercy on your soul. Peace </3.

      August 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neo

      I guess the real Yacobi is right. You guys really should have come from a concubine. That explains you trying to confuse people with your contradicting statements. You are the ones who live among us, learn our life style and then go back to your diaper head ways of terrorizing people. Isn't he one of those guys they are talking about now on news?

      August 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Dave Mason

    Islam is clearly NOT a religion of peace. And these particular Taliban followers of Islam are also apparently insane. Why would you kill a group of people who had sacrificed a much more comfortable existence to care for your countrymen? Even if this medical team was sharing their faith, this is in no way a reason to kill them, unless of course you subscribe to some of the proclamations of the Koran that apparently require this level of barbarity.

    When will these Taliban barbarians ever learn what it means to be civilized?

    August 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Pamela Johnson M.D.

    What a tragedy. What a crime. What a quagmire. What a maelstrom. What a shameful way to repay such courageous kindness. Kill the healers? What a pit - Afghanistan.

    My deepest regards to the aggrieved families of these martyred heroes.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scorpio1954

      I agree, just a cold blooded massacre for no reason whatsoever. These people dedicated their time and personal lives to help the poor and needy. These Taliban idiots don,t even know what there own religious doctrine is about. It seems they want to blame the world for the mess they are self creating and living in. They need to reach out to the world. Could you imagine the talk that goes on in these so called religious meetings!! My heart goes out to all their countless innocent murdered people and their grieving families. History seems to keep repeating itself. Can we ever fix it?

      August 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Scorpio,like I said before,if the Communists won the civil war here 30 years ago,these people would still be alive and well.Need I say more?

        August 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Avtar

    And They Call ISLAM Religion of Peace ..

    August 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |