Muslim patient in wheelchair kills Red Cross worker


A wheelchair-bound patient carrying a hidden pistol shot a Spanish Red Cross worker on Monday in northern Afghanistan.  It was the latest deadly assault on the Red Cross in northern Afghanistan, where Taliban and Islamic State militants have been terrorizing the local population.

Lorena Enebral Perez, 38, a Spanish physiotherapist working for the Red Cross, was treating disabled men, women, and children, including amputees, at a rehabilitation center in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif when the incident occurred.

Two people were arrested in the attack, including the shooter, a 21-year-old patient who police described as a “regular patient.”

Deputy police chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi claimed the motive for the attack was not clear, but that the wheelchair-bound patient “opened fire on the doctor as soon as she entered the consultation room.”

“He had hidden the pistol in his wheelchair, which he used to shoot the victim,” said police spokesman Shir Jan Durran.

Perez was rushed to a NATO military base hospital where she later died from her wounds.

Monica Zanarelli, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan, said, “Lorena was a skilled and caring physiotherapist who assisted patients, especially children. The violent fluctuations of life seem particularly cruel today. Energetic and full of laughter, Lorena was the heart of our office in Mazar. Today, our hearts are broken.”

The murder was confirmed by the ICRC in Afghanistan in a Twitter post, which stated, “We confirm that a Spanish physiotherapist working in our ortho centre in Mazar has been shot & killed. We are shocked & devastated.”

In addition, the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) tweeted, “Saddened by the news that another colleague has been killed in Afghanistan. Thoughts are with family and friends.”

Ironically, just an hour before tweeting confirmation on the murder of one of its own, the Red Cross had sent out the following Twitter post in defense of refugees: “No one should be forced to gamble with their lives in search of safety – deaths at sea are unacceptable #ProtectHumanity.”

The tweet was in response to an article from The Guardian, which reported that the migrant death toll was rising “after clampdown on east European borders.”

In February, six Afghan employees working for the Red Cross were murdered by ISIS jihadists when their convoy was ambushed and they were shot in cold blood. Two other Red Cross staff members were abducted and finally released by their captors just last week.

Most Red Cross operations had been suspended in northern Afghanistan since that incident.

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