ICRC concerned by indiscriminate use of weapons in attack on prison

Following the Sunday night attack on the Kidapawan City Jail, the International Committee of the Red Cross is seriously concerned by the indiscriminate killing of bystanders and a Red Cross volunteer responding to humanitarian needs.
Arriving in the area after it was declared safe and clear, a Philippine Red Cross (PRC) emergency response team observed a small number of people injured and property damaged by bullets that were indiscriminately fired in all directions.
“An improvised explosive device left in the area then exploded, killing the volunteer ambulance driver of this team, Benny “Daddy” Balmediano, as they were carrying out life-saving response to those injured in the earlier attack on the jail,” said Jean-Daniel Tauxe, ICRC head of delegation in the Philippines.
“We deplore such events leading to injury and death of those who are carrying out humanitarian duties trying to assist the wounded. We would like to stress that civilians and humanitarian workers must be protected at all times,” he added.
The ICRC reminds all those concerned that the indiscriminate use of weapons negates basic notions of humanity. The ICRC and the PRC call on all those concerned to respect those responding to emergencies, including Red Cross workers.
“It is tragic for a humanitarian worker, who is also a father and who is there only to alleviate suffering and save life, to be a victim of violence,” said PRC chairman Richard Gordon.
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization that strives to assist and protect victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It works with the PRC, its strategic local partner in the Philippines, to enhance capacity to respond to disasters and other emergencies.

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