Dismay over Red Cross giving first-aid training to Afghan Taliban

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Washington, May 26 (ANI): Dismay prevails in certain sections of Afghan society over the Red Cross providing first aid training and medical aid to the Taliban, which has been at war with NATO troops for almost a decade.

Taliban insurgents fighting against British and American forces in Afghanistan controversially continue to receive first-aid training and are supplied with medical kits by the Red Cross. Some in the Afghan government, are unhappy that the Taliban is being given aid, as they believe that it could help sustain its forces in the field. In an "operational update", the International Committee for the Red Cross reported that it had trained and equipped "over 70 members of the armed opposition" as part of a programme to deal with battlefield injuries.

First-aid training and kits was also given to "arms carriers" and "civilians living in conflict areas", 100 Afghan security forces personnel, taxi drivers used to transport the wounded and the Red Cross''''s own staff.

Marco Baldan, the Red Cross''''s chief surgeon and a recognised specialist in combat injuries, held a three-day war surgery workshop for 42 surgeons and doctors.

The Red Cross has remained neutral in global conflicts, a role that is accepted by NATO''''s military commanders.

The Telegraph, however, quoted some Afghan Red Cross officials as saying that they were shocked at the lack of basic first aid facilities in a war ravaged zone.

They said that even in areas where health care was available, it was often difficult for the wounded to be transported during military operations like the recent offensive in Marja.Even after the fighting is over in a particular area, we''''re having difficulty transporting patients to doctors," an Afghan Red Crescent Society volunteer said.

He added: "Mines, checkpoints and general insecurity stop us getting through safely." (ANI)

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