Two US, six German doctors shot dead in Afghanistan: police

7th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The bullet-riddled bodies of two American and six German doctors have been discovered in dense forest in northern Afghanistan, a police official told AFP Saturday.

Provincial police chief Aqa Noor Kintoz said the foreigners and two Afghan men were believed to have been killed by armed men in a remote area of Badakhshan province, according to the testimony of a sole Afghan survivor.

The group of eight foreigners -- ophthalmologists -- and three Afghans had been travelling between Badakhshan and Nuristan provinces and had spent a few nights in the forest, according to "Saifullah" who was released without being hurt.

"On the last day they were confronted by a group of armed men who lined them up and shot them. Their money and belongings were all stolen," said Kintoz.

He said that according to Saifullah's testimony he had escaped death by reading verses of the Quran, prompting the men to realise he was a Muslim and release him in neighbouring Nuristan province.

The police chief said local villagers had warned the group not to enter the dangerous forested area, but they has insisted they would be safe because they were doctors, according to Saifullah's statement.

He said the bodies had been found in Kuran wa Minjan district, an area on the border with Nuristan province, one day's drive from the provincial capital Faizabad.

A US Embassy spokeswoman said "several" American citizens were believed to be among the dead, found on Friday, but could not give further details.

"(We) are actively working with local authorities and others to learn more about the identities and nationalities of these individuals," the spokeswoman said.

There was no immediate response from German authorities.

© 2010 AFP

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