Red Crescent worker killed in Syria

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid worker died on Tuesday a day after he was shot in a marked ambulance in the town of Deir al-Zor, the organization said.

Khaled Khaffaji was the fifth member of the aid group's staff to be killed in the conflict in Syria, and the second to be killed in less than a month.

"We are devastated. The loss of Khaled is completely unacceptable," Abdul Rahman al-Attar, the president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), said in a statement.

"All sides must respect health-care workers and the red cross and red crescent emblems, and allow Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers to provide assistance unhindered and in safety."

International law demands that parties to an armed conflict distinguish between civilians and combatants, and aid workers cannot be targeted.

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, which works alongside the SARC, refused to say that Khaffaji was deliberately targeted but stressed that the ambulance was clearly marked.

"We cannot say he was targeted, the situation was that they were shot at night while they were in duty. The team got caught while fighting was taking place, and he was injured, and he died today of his wounds," the spokesperson told Al-Akhbar.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters)

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