Geneva, Switzerland (BBN)- The perpetrators of this week’s brutal murder of four aid workers supporting education projects in Afghanistan must not go unpunished, an independent United Nations human rights expert said on Friday.

“There must be an end to impunity for those who attack schools, students and educators,” the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Vernor Muñoz Villalobos, said in a statement issued in Geneva.

Three female international aid workers and their Afghan colleague were killed after their vehicle, belonging to the United States-based International Rescue Committee, was attacked by gunmen while travelling from Kabul to Logar.

He also said the incident “highlights starkly the extreme risks faced by all those promoting the right to education in conflict areas and the urgent need for the international community, and all those involved in this and similar conflicts, to put a stop to such attacks.”

The Taliban, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, “do not simply fail to value education: they deliberately target it,” the Rapporteur noted.

Wednesday’s incident was the latest and most deadly single attack against the Afghan aid community this year, according to the UN. Already 19 aid workers have been killed in 2008, surpassing the total number of lives lost in 2007.

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