Message Tab

International aid group 'wants to stay' in Afghanistan despite killings


(RNS/ENInews) The International Assistance Mission has rejected Taliban claims that 10 staffers from the Christian aid agency who were killed in Afghanistan had been trying to convert Muslims.

“Our faith motivates and inspires us, but we do not proselytize. We abide by the laws of Afghanistan,” Dirk R. Frans, IAM’s executive secretary, said in a statement at an Aug. 9 press conference in Kabul.

Frans said his group had been present in Afghanistan since 1966 and abided by the laws of the country, and had pledged that its aid would never be used to advance a particular political or religious standpoint.

“IAM would not be invited back to villages if we were using aid as a cover for preaching,” said Frans.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, former Afghan foreign minister and presidential candidate who had been trained by the slain group’s leader, Dr. Tom Little of Delmar, N.Y., described the IAM team as dedicated people and called the attackers “enemies of the Afghan people,” according to the BBC.