News / Asia

    Clinton: Muslims Reject Taliban Aid Worker Killings

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Muslims around the world join people of other faiths in rejecting last week's murder of humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan.  The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation will join Afghan authorities in probing the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

    Officials here say the killing of the 10-member medical team, which included six Americans, is such an unpopular act in Afghanistan that they are puzzled why the Taliban would boast its responsibility.

    But they say they take the group's claim at face value and see it as another example of the "twisted ideology" of the militant Islamic group.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke made a joint press appearance to condemn the murder, in Afghanistan's northeastern Badakhshan province, of members of a Christian charity group.

    Clinton called the slaying of the aid workers, who had spent several days conducting a free eye clinic in the region, heartbreaking and vicious murder.

    But she said it will not deter other volunteers and the international coalition in Afghanistan from seeking to establish what the Taliban is fighting against - a future of peace, freedom and stability for all Afghans.

    "As determined as the extremists are to spread their destructive view of the world, the  Afghan people along with their partners, including the United States, are determined to stop them," said  Hillary Clinton. "So as we mourn the loss of these brave aid workers, we will continue with our own efforts, and we will be inspired by their heroism, their compassion and their love for the Afghan people."

    The Taliban, in asserting responsibility for the deaths, said the aid workers were foreign spies and spreading Christianity.  Other members of the aid group, the International Assistance Mission, said the slain workers - some of whom had worked in Afghanistan for decades - did not proselytize.

    Clinton said their work was independent from any government.  Holbrooke said the killings of volunteers, whom he said were well-known and revered locally, appear to be generating an enormous backlash against the Taliban.

    "This was an act by a small ruthless minority, which is what the Taliban are," said Richard Holbrooke. "They do not represent popular will in Afghanistan.  And every poll, every survey - I particularly bring to your attention the BBC/ABC/ARD [public opinion survey] of earlier this year - shows that their support is in the single-digits.  But entrenched ruthless people have the ability to kill unarmed people who were coming back from a humanitarian mission."

    On another issue, Holbrooke said that although the death toll is far lower, Pakistan's ongoing flood disaster has now affected the lives of as many people - some 14 million - as the country's 2005 earthquake.

    He suggested that because of "donor fatigue" from other natural disasters, including Haiti's earthquake in April, contributions for Pakistan flood relief have lagged.  He said the United States - by far the lead contributor thus far - is pressing key allies and would-be private donors to do more.   

    Related video by Deborah Block:

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.