A spokesman for Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of Secretary General Kofi Annan and the chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said, “Violence against aid workers is unacceptable and [Mr. Arnault] vigorously condemns this attack.” The two victims were Afghan workers for the Catholic relief agency Malteser, an implementing partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Emal Abdul Samad, a driver, and Mohammad Idrees Sadiq, a field officer, were travelling on the road from Zurmat to Gardez yesterday afternoon when their unmarked taxi came under fire. According to Mohammad Nader Farhad, a spokesman for UNHCR in Kabul, Mr. Sadiq was killed instantly while Mr. Samad was airlifted to Bagram Hospital, where he was treated for heavy injury before succumbing to his wounds. UNAMA spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said Mr. Arnault expressed his deep condolences to the families and friends of the two Malteser staffers and that “he shares his solidarity” with the German non-governmental organization (NGO). Mr. Farhad said Malteser – which provides vocational training, cash for work projects and income generation activities in refugee return areas – has suspended all operations in the southeast and central regions of Afghanistan to review the situation. UNHCR Gardez, meanwhile, has also suspended all movements in the southeast until further notice. “We are extremely concerned by the repeated security incidents involving aid workers and the increasingly shrinking humanitarian space,” he said.