Kandahar, Aug.18 : The Taliban issued an open letter to Canada on Sunday, saying more Canadian blood will be spilled if the country's troops were not pulled out of Afghanistan.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail conducted several hours before the letter was made public, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the killing of the aid workers was retaliation for the U.S. bombing of a wedding party in Jalalabad on July 6.
Afghan officials say as many as missiles fired from a helicopter killed 27 people, including the bride. U.S. military spokesmen say only insurgents were hit.
"Our women and common people are important to us too. About one month ago, the coalition forces attacked a wedding in Jalalabad that killed 49 people, women, children, men, boys, everyone that was present," Mujahid said through a translator.
The attack on the aid workers was carried out, he said, "to take revenge on the coalition forces and foreign people and to show the world that our people are just as important as yours."
Jackie Kirk, 40, of Montreal, Shirley Case, 30, of Williams Lake, B.C., and Nicole Dial, 30, a dual citizen of the United States and Trinidad, were travelling with an Afghan driver, Mohammad Aimal, 25, near Logar south of Kabul last Wednesday when their white sport utility vehicle marked with the emblems of their organization, the International Rescue Committee, was riddled with bullets.
The vehicle was travelling in an area considered relatively safe.
Thomas Johnson, the director of the culture and conflict studies program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., said it is quite plausible that the deadly attack last week was a planned act of retribution.
The letter was signed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and ended with the names of Mr. Mujahid and Qari Yousef Ahmadi, another recognized Taliban spokesman. It was posted on the Taliban website.
Neither the Canadian military nor Foreign Affairs officials in Afghanistan would comment on the letter.