The bodies of four Emirati humanitarian workers who were killed in a terrorist attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan last week, arrived back in the UAE on Saturday on board a military aircraft.
According to news agency WAM, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and a number of senior civilian and military officials were at the airport to receive the bodies.
The aircraft carried the bodies of four of the five victims as the committee tasked with the identification of bodies could not locate the body of Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki, WAM said.
It added that the authorities notified the family members of Al Bastaki who accepted the news “with a great sense of pride and emphasised their determination to continue working in support of humanitarian efforts”.
Afghani President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a full investigation into the bomb attack on the governor’s house in southern Kandahar province in which the five Emirati humanitarian workers were killed.
The Emiratis who died were named as Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki, Abdullah Mohammed Essa Obaid Al Kaabi, Ahmed Rashid Salim Ali Al Mazroui, Ahmed Abdul Rahman Ahmad Al Tunaiji, and Abdul Hamid Sultan Abdullah Ibrahim Al Hammadi.
UAE Ambassador, Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi, was also in the guesthouse when the explosion happened.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan ordered flags flown at half-mast for three days in mourning.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also paid tribute to the humanitarian workers.
He said that the Emirati workers “are a source of pride for the nation”.
Sheikh Mohammed also affirmed that the UAE will continue to provide humanitarian and development assistance to affected communities and support people in need regardless of challenges.