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Red Cross aids Afghanistan Taliban

An Afghan man and his boy sit on the ground while village elders from Tamir, Farah Provence, Afghanistan talk with Afghan National Army leadership about improvements for the village, on February 28, 2010. UPI/Nicholas Pilch/U.S. Air Force.
An Afghan man and his boy sit on the ground while village elders from Tamir, Farah Provence, Afghanistan talk with Afghan National Army leadership about improvements for the village, on February 28, 2010. UPI/Nicholas Pilch/U.S. Air Force. | License Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 26 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has provided basic training and first aid kits to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the international humanitarian organization says about 70 members of the armed opposition were given first aid training last month, the BBC reported Wednesday.

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"We treat and train people on the basis of medical necessity as an impartial organization, regardless of race or politics," the spokesman said.

In addition to Taliban members, the spokesman said the Red Cross has also provided training to civilians in Afghanistan.

Currently Afghanistan is the ICRC's biggest operation worldwide with more than 1,500 international and national staff members.

In its latest report, the ICRC said chief surgeon Marco Baldan, an expert on weapon-related injuries, conducted a three-day workshop for medical professionals in April.

Participants confirmed that there has been a substantial increase in the number of patients injured by improvised explosive devices, the report said.

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