Two Red Crescent staffers killed in Afghanistan

Two local employees of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) have been killed in a "shocking" attack in the north of the country, Red Cross and Red Crescent officials said Wednesday.

Two other staffers were injured in the shooting Tuesday on a main road in the Khanaqa district of Jawzjan province while their mobile clinic was travelling to the provincial capital Shiberghan, the officials said in a statement.

They described the killings as "shocking and unacceptable" but said the identity of the attackers was unknown.

"It looks like they were deliberately attacked. The vehicle was clearly marked," said Robin Waudo, communication director of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The four-member mobile clinic team was providing medical help to people living in remote areas, the ARCS, ICRC and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a joint statement.

They said medical personnel and their marked vehicles are protected under international humanitarian law and must not be harmed. "The Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems must be respected at all times," the statement said.

Waudo told AFP the victims had been working in the area for three weeks. "We have no idea" who was to blame for the attack, he said.