Spanish aid worker killed in Ukraine: foreign minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain
Spain's acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Albares holds a press conference during an informal meeting of EU foreing affairs ministers held in Toledo on August 31, 2023, in the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell noted today the military coup in Gabon could not be compared to the crisis in Niger, arguing officers intervened after ousted president Ali Bongo won an unfair election. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)

MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish volunteer aid worker was killed in Ukraine after a missile hit the vehicle she was travelling in, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Sunday.

"A projectile fell on a vehicle in which this Spanish citizen was travelling. She was working there at an NGO helping with the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and we have verbal confirmation of her death," he told reporters at the G20 summit in India.

Albares did not provide further information but Spanish media identified the woman as Emma Igual, the 32-year-old director of Road to Relief, a non-profit organisation dedicated to evacuating civilians from the front line in Ukraine.

The NGO said in a post on its Instagram account that a Canadian aid worker was also killed and two others wounded when their vehicle "came under Russian attack" in Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine on Saturday morning.

In "a direct hit, the vehicle flipped over and lit on fire," it said.

A German and a Swedish aid worker "were badly injured with shrapnel wounds and burns but are now stable in separate hospitals far from the scene," it added in the post published on Saturday.

At the time, the NGO said the fate of Igual was not known.

The aid workers had left from Slovyansk and were heeded to Bakhmut to assess the needs of civilians "caught in crossfire" in the town of Ivanivske.