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Oxfam says two of its workers killed in Syria

Published: Updated:

Two Oxfam aid workers were killed and another volunteer was injured in an attack on their vehicle in Syria on Wednesday, the British-based non-governmental organization said.

The incident happened at 2:00 pm local time (1200 GMT) in the Daraa area in the south of the country, naming those who died as its southern hub safety officer Wissam Hazim, and driver Adel Al-Halabi.

Both were Syrian nationals and had worked with the NGO since 2017. A volunteer was also injured in the attack, which it blamed on an “unidentified armed group.”

“We are devastated by the loss of two valued colleagues who were killed as they worked to deliver aid to civilians caught in the Syrian conflict,” said Oxfam’s Syria country director Moutaz Adham.

“Our love and thoughts are with their families. We condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms.”

“It is essential that aid workers are able to get lifesaving assistance to civilians without being attacked themselves.”

Founded in Britain in 1942, Oxfam helped more than 1.2 million people with aid in Syria last year, including clean water and clothing, the charity said.

The International NGO Safety organization said there were 128 recorded safety and security incidents affecting NGOs in Syria in the 12 months to the end of January this year.

They included three abductions, 11 fatalities and 32 injuries.

Syria has sixth-highest number of incidents in that period, behind the Democratic Republic of Congo (374), South Sudan (300), Central African Republic (272), Afghanistan (252) and Mali (211).