Taliban kills 8 Afghan workers en route to U.S. base, police say

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Eight Afghan civilians, who work at a U.S. military base south of Kabul, were shot dead by Taliban gunmen on Thursday, police said.

“Eight Afghan workers who were working in Camp Shank were killed this morning by Taliban,” the deputy police chief in Logar province, Rais Khan Sadeq, told AFP. “They were forced out of their car and taken about 200 meters off road to a nearby village [Logar], and shot in the head one by one.”

Sadeq said the bodies of the “ordinary civilian workers” were found with their eyes blindfolded.

Afghan civilians are hired to work on construction projects and as cleaners on U.S. and NATO military bases across the country.

A Logar administration spokesman confirmed the incident.

“They were poor and ordinary workers, all civilians,” said Din Mohammad Darvish, adding that their bodies were found in the village.

Officials accused the Taliban of being behind the killings, AFP reported. However, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The village of Logar is a stronghold for the militants waging a 12-year insurgency against the Western-backed government after being toppled in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

The Taliban has vowed to increase their attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The insurgents have stepped up attacks on Afghan forces since they took responsibility for national security last month.

By the end of next year, about 100,000 U.S.-led NATO troops are schedule to withdraw from Afghanistan.

(With AFP)