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ISIS gunman went ‘bed to bed’ murdering workers in attack on Prince Harry-backed charity

ISIS gunman went 'bed to bed' murdering workers in attack on Prince Harry-backed charity


ISIS has claimed responsibility after ten workers were killed and 16 were seriously injured at a camp for a British charity backed by Prince Harry.

Halo Trust CEO James Cowan, 57, said terrorists opened fire on “everyone” inside the mine-clearing charity in Afghanistan on Tuesday night.

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He told CNN that a gunman “went bed-to-bed murdering people” after members of an armed group broke into the compound as workers slept at 9.50pm.

“It was a pretty horrific close-quarter killing of people asleep in their bed,” he said.

“As the shots began to ring out, you can imagine the confusion and horror in the dark.

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The Duke of Sussex during a visit to a minefield in Angola during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust
The Duke of Sussex during a visit to a minefield in Angola during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust

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Mr Cowan said people were “screaming and shouting” as they tried to flee.

It is estimated that 110 members of staff were stationed at the camp at the time of the attack, with most believed to have been asleep.

Mr Cowan said that the group of men had forced their way into building as they tried to find members of the Hazara minority community.

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He said the gunmen demanded to know which team members were from the Shiite Hazara ethnic minority, adding that “when our staff refused to name them, the gunmen went from room to room murdering our staff.”



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Wounded people receive treatments at a hospital following an attack by masked gunmen which killed 10 people working for the HALO Trust
Wounded people receive treatments at a hospital following an attack by masked gunmen which killed 10 people working for the HALO Trust

The Hazaras are an Afghan ethnic group that have faced persecution at the hands of both the Taliban and the Islamic State group for many years.

Cowan said some of those people they killed were from the Hazara community but “they quickly ran out of Hazaras and began to kill indiscriminately”.

He said that local members of the Taliban – whom the Afghan government initially blamed for the attack – came to the rescue during the attack at the camp in the northern Baghlan province.



An Afghan Halo Trust worker is rushed into an ambulance after militants stormed their camp
An Afghan Halo Trust worker is rushed into an ambulance after militants stormed their camp

“The local Taliban came to our rescue and chased the assailants away,” he said.

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An Afghani ISIS affiliate, known as IS-K, has now claimed responsibility for the atrocity, the SITE Intelligence Group reported on Wednesday.

The Hazara have previously been targeted in attacks by IS-K, including last month’s horrific attack on a girls’ school in Kabul that left at least 85 people dead.

The Taliban, which is fighting to overthrow the Afghani government, denied involvement in the attack to Reuters.



A wounded worker from Halo Trust receives treatment at a hospital in Baghlan province
A wounded worker from Halo Trust receives treatment at a hospital in Baghlan province



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Cowan said that despite the attack – and the expected withdrawal of US and NATO troops later this year — the charity’s de-miners “still have a job to do.”

The Halo Trust was supported by Princess Diana and has had a close affiliation with the Duke of Sussex.

Harry made an emotional visit to Africa in 2019 to retrace the steps of his mother, who famously walked through a partially cleared Angolan minefield in 1997 to highlight the threat of the military munitions.

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