Aid Workers Increasingly Targeted in Unsafe Afghanistan

Recent Attacks Suggest They Are No Longer 'Off-Limits'

Throughout much of the NATO occupation of Afghanistan, foreign humanitarian workers have been braving the dangers of the warzone in relative safety, declared “off-limits” by the Taliban and protected by local factions because of the aid they provide.

But three aid workers were killed by a remote controlled bomb Tuesday, and six more were slain today by apparent Taliban gunmen in Faryab Province, two attacks which suggest they may be targets in a way they haven’t been in the past.

Though in both cases it is believed the aid workers were singled out, the aid groups say they don’t have any plans so far to scale back their operations, saying they hope these are isolated incidents.

Neither NATO nor the Afghan government appear to have any plans to beef up security around the aid groups either, though since such operations might give the impression that private aid groups are “working with the occupation” that might be safer for them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.