'Act of barbarism': Prince Harry condemns attack on mine charity in Afghanistan

Ten people killed in attack on Halo Trust backed by Princess Diana

A handout photo made available by the HALO Trust shows Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, visiting the minefield in Dirico, Angola on September 27, 2019.  Britain's Prince Harry on September 27, 2019 walked through a cleared minefield in Angola, tracing his late mother's footsteps to draw attention to a country that remains plagued by land mines. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / The HALO Trust" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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Britain's Prince Harry has condemned an attack that killed 10 people working for a mine-clearing charity in Afghanistan.

They worked for the Halo Trust, which is known for the support of the prince and his mother Princess Diana.

Sixteen others were injured in Tuesday’s attack, which was carried out by militants at a camp in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province.

Prince Harry described the attack as “nothing less than an act of barbarism”.

“These workers put their lives on the line every day to make the world a safer place,” he said.

“This brutal act reminds us that we must stand in solidarity with humanitarian aid workers and the communities they serve.”

About 110 men from communities in northern Afghanistan were in the camp after working on nearby minefields.

The prince said they “came from the very communities in which they work”.

“They joined Halo to protect and restore their country and their homes,” he said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned what he said was a heinous attack.

Halo had a strong partnership with the UN aimed at clearing explosives to “better the lives of vulnerable people”, he said.

The Duke of Sussex is a longstanding supporter of the trust, which came to prominence after Princess Diana’s 1997 visit to an Angolan minefield cleared by the charity.

Months after her visit – and her death in a Paris car crash that year – more than 100 countries signed a treaty which banned anti-personnel landmines.

ANGOLA - JANUARY 05:  Diana, Princess of Wales wearing protective body armour and a visor visits a landmine minefield being cleared by the charity Halo in Huambo, Angola  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Princess Diana's visit to Angola in 1997 helped bring the Halo Trust to prominence. Getty Images

Prince Harry followed in his mother's footsteps in 2019 with a poignant visit to the same site in Angola.

He described how the area had “transformed from desolate and uninhabitable to lively and vibrant” with colleges, schools and businesses.

The attack led to conflicting claims of responsibility. ISIS said it was behind the killings but the Afghan government blamed the Taliban.

The Interior Ministry said the terrorists entered the compound and “started shooting everyone”. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack.

Violence in the country has been on the increase since May when US and Nato forces began to withdraw from the country.

The US has pulled more than 50 per cent of its forces from Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.