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Slain medical team ‘Didn’t talk religion’


marciadottin, [email protected]

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DENVER – Members of a medical team gunned down in Afghanistan brought some of the first toothbrushes and eyeglasses villagers had ever seen, and spent no time talking about religion as they provided medical care, friends and aid organizations said.Dr Thomas Grams, 51, quit his dental practice in Durango, Colorado, four years ago to work full-time giving impoverished children free dental care in Nepal and Afghanistan, said Katy Shaw of Global Dental Relief, a Denver-based group that sends teams of dentists around the globe. He was killed Thursday, Shaw said, along with five other Americans, two Afghans, one German and a Briton.“The kids had never seen toothbrushes, and Tom brought thousands of them,” said Khris Nedam, head of the Kids 4 Afghan Kids in Livonia, Michigan, which builds schools and wells in Afghanistan. “He trained them how to brush their teeth, and you should’ve seen the way they smiled after they learned to brush their teeth.”The team was attacked after a two-week mission in the remote Parun valley of Nuristan province, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Kabul. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found on Friday, and were returned to Kabul yesterday aboard helicopters.The Taliban has claimed credit for the attack, saying the workers were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The gunmen spared an Afghan driver who told police he recited verses from the Islamic holy book the Quran as he begged for his life. (AP)

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