ICRC workers releasedFive aid workers belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were released after four days in captivity of the unknown gunmen in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

According to a statement released by the Geneva-based aid organization, the five aid workers were kidnapped on 16th February from Ghazni province and were released unharmed on Friday.

“The ICRC welcomes their unconditional release and calls for greater respect for its work and staff in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Jean-Nicolas Marti, head of the ICRC delegation in Kabul, said “We are immensely relieved to know our five colleagues are free and in good health. We want to thank all involved for the swift resolution of the crisis.”

The staff members were held while on their way to carry out an assessment, with the aim to assist conflict-stricken communities in the Waghaz district of Ghazni, the statement added.

Reaffirming the organization’s commitment to continue supporting the victims of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Mr. Marti, said “We urge for greater respect for the ICRC’s humanitarian work all over the country. Our staff must be allowed to work in safety. We are currently reviewing the security conditions in Ghazni with all parties to the conflict and hope to receive renewed security guarantees in order to resume our work in the province as soon as possible.”

ICRC was established in 1987 in Afghanistan and operates to prevent violations of international humanitarian law, to protect detainees, to provide water, sanitation and means of support to civilians affected by the conflict.

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