Taliban revoke ban on Red Cross in Afghanistan, provide security guarantees

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been providing medical support in Afghanistan for more than 30 years. (AFP)
Updated 15 September 2019

Taliban revoke ban on Red Cross in Afghanistan, provide security guarantees

  • Taliban leaders imposed a ban on the ICRC and the WHO in April saying the organizations were carrying out ‘suspicious’ activities
  • ICRC has been providing medical support in Afghanistan for more than 30 years

KABUL: The Taliban on Sunday revoked their ban on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan and gave a guarantee of security for its staff doing humanitarian work in areas under their control.
Taliban leaders imposed a ban on the ICRC and the World Health Organization (WHO) in April saying the organizations were carrying out “suspicious” activities during vaccinations campaigns and not sticking to their declared missions.
“The Islamic Emirate restores the former security guarantees to ICRC in Afghanistan and instructs all mujahideen to pave the way for ICRC activities and be mindful of security to this committee’s workers and equipment,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement.
The Taliban refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The spokesman did not refer to the WHO in his statement.
Officials at ICRC and WHO in Kabul were not immediately available for comment.
The WHO has been carrying out a vaccination campaign in Afghanistan, one of the last countries in the world where polio is endemic. The ICRC has been providing medical support for more than 30 years.
Aid groups operating in Afghanistan stress that they do not take sides.
The ICRC in particular is known for its strict neutrality in conflicts.
It operates in Taliban-controlled areas with a guarantee of safety and helps to repatriate bodies from both sides after fighting between the militants and the Afghan army.
The Taliban control or contest more than half of Afghanistan’s 410 Afghan districts.


UK police arrest man after stabbing at London Central Mosque

Updated 39 min 46 sec ago

UK police arrest man after stabbing at London Central Mosque

  • Victim was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital
  • Man who was attacked in his 70s and stabbed multiple times

LONDON: A man attacked the elderly muezzin at one of London’s main mosques on Thursday, stabbing him in the neck before being arrested.

Metropolitan Police said they were called to London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park after reports of a stabbing.

Police were called to London Central Mosque, also known as Regent's Park mosque, on the city's Park Road to reports of a stabbing. (James Stringer/Flickr)

The attack targeted the muezzin, who performs the mosque’s call to prayer, the Muslim hate crime monitor TellMAMA, said. 

The man who was attacked is in his 70s and was stabbed multiple times, Sky News reported.


He was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital. His injuries are thought to be non-life threatening.

Police said a man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder and a crime scene was put in place.

Video showed police subduing a man inside the mosque before leading him away in handcuffs. He was wearing a red hooded top and no shoes. 

Director-general of the Islamic Cultural Centre, part of the mosque, Dr. Ahmad Al-Dubayan described the attack and the emergency services’ response while confirming the victim was in a good condition.

He told Arab News: “We don’t have any information about the motive for this incident, why he did this or who he is even.

“Of course, we are unhappy about what happened, but we all hope that it was an individual attack and nothing linked to anything further than this attack itself.

“But we are worried and sorry about what has happened.” 

A makeshift area for sunset prayers was set up in the mosque so that worshippers could still pray despite the incident.