Local aid workers gunned down in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Three local employees of an international aid organization affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network were shot and killed by gunmen in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said. Two men and a woman working for Focus Humanitarian Assistance were killed in their vehicle while traveling on a road in rural Parwan province, north of Kabul, according to Noor Aqa Sameh, a district governor in the province. He blamed Taliban militants for the attack, but the group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It does not control major territory in Parwan but sometimes threatens roadways and launch attacks, Sameh said. Locked in a war between Islamist insurgents and the NATO-backed government, Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for aid workers. Threats of kidnapping and bombings have forced many organizations to scale back programs. Focus is a non-profit organization based in South Asia, Europe and North America that works to help people in developing countries transition from reliance on international aid to sustainable development. It is linked to the Aga Khan Development Network, which has one of the largest aid operations in Afghanistan. Officials with the aid organization did not respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Mohammad Qiam in Parwan and Josh Smith in Kabul; Editing by Tom Heneghan)