Two Finnish aid workers were shot and killed while riding in a taxi in Herat, western Afghanistan on Thursday.
Two men pulled up next to their taxi riding tandem on a motorcycle and shot the women at point-blank range. The aid workers were on their way to their offices at the International Assistance Mission (IAM).
The IAM is a Christian aid organization founded in 1966 that works specifically in Afghanistan. Both women worked in Afghanistan in the late 1990s and were serving managerial roles with the IAM.
Dr. Heini Makila, the executive director of IAM, said in a statement that “our prayers are with their relatives, friends, Afghan and international colleagues.”
â€” Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi (@WasHasNaz) July 24, 2014
One was overseeing social work in Herat, the other had just returned to Afghanistan to serve as the IAM’s team leader in Herat. The Taliban targeted the IAM in 2010, accusing aid workers of being “Christian missionaries,” a charge the IAM strongly denies. Ten medical aid workers were returning from an ocular health mission in Nuristan, and were found shot execution-style in the far north province of Badakhshan.
Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs says the police are still searching for the assailants.
MOI confirms the killing of two foreign nationals by 2 unknown gunmen in Herat; massive search and hunt operation underway by Police:
â€” Sediq Sediqqi (@moispokesman) July 24, 2014
In the Tahkar province in the northwestern part of Afghanistan, six people were killed and 20 wounded in a bombing. A bomb was fixed to a motorcycle and was aimed at killing policemen on duty, but they were unharmed.