Ms. Zanarelli said the organization would not leave Afghanistan entirely, but was trying to limit its workers’ exposure to risk.
Abdul Wali Aziz, head of the coordination department at the Afghan Health Ministry, described the decision as “bad news for residents of these provinces,” adding that the Red Cross “was helping us with transferring of the wounded from battlefields to health facilities and providing medicines in some districts of Faryab and Kunduz provinces. They had a health facility in Faryab prison as well.”
Officials in Kunduz said the work of the Red Cross was crucial in making sure basic medical help reached some of the most vulnerable people. The organization supplied medicine to several clinics in the province, where on average 80 patients a day would be treated.
“The clinics were for the poor — for those who couldn’t go to government or private hospitals,” said Saif Wardak, 24, a resident of Imam Sahib district of Kunduz. “This will create a big problem.”
The insurgency also relies on Red Cross volunteers to retrieve the bodies of its dead in large parts of the country and to help families of its detainees communicate with them in prison.
But since last winter, the Red Cross has suffered a series of attacks. An employee was abducted in Kunduz in December and held for four weeks. In February, militants killed six Red Cross staff members in the northern province of Jowzjan and abducted two others, who were released last month.
Days later, Ms. Enebral was shot dead. Afghan officials said the killer, who had been treated at the center for 19 years, from age 2, was being questioned at the country’s intelligence agency and his motives remained under investigation.
“She laughed a lot. She joked with patients,” said one of Ms. Enebral’s colleagues in a tribute released by the Red Cross. “The rehabilitation center has changed now. All our colleagues have changed. The patients have changed. The loss of Lorena hangs in the air.”
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