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Saturday 7 December 2019

Two dead as gunmen attack Save The Children offices in Afghanistan

At least 14 other people were hurt during the assault in Jalalabad.

Afghan security personnel patrol the site of a deadly suicide attack in Jalalabad (AP)
Afghan security personnel patrol the site of a deadly suicide attack in Jalalabad (AP)

By Rahim Faiez

Two people have been killed and 14 others were injured after a group of gunmen stormed a regional office of Save The Children in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

A police officer and a civilian were killed during the attack on the international aid organisation in Jalalabad, according to Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

One insurgent carried out a suicide bombing, a second was killed by police and a third is still fighting, he said.

Inamullah Miakhial, a spokesman for Nangarhar regional hospital, said at least 14 wounded were brought to the hospital. The casualty count could rise as a gun battle is still under way, he said.


Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the attack. A report from its Aamaq news agency said a suicide bomber had detonated an explosives-laden vehicle, while a subsequent raid targeted “British and Swedish foundations and Afghan government institutes”.

Both Taliban insurgents and IS are active in eastern Nangarhar province.

Monica Zanarelli, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ head of delegation in Afghanistan, said that an attack against an organisation that helps children is “outrageous”.

She said: “Civilians and aid workers must not be targeted. Increased violence has made operating in Afghanistan difficult for many organisations.”

The attack follows the deadly weekend siege of the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul in which 22 people were killed, including 14 foreigners. Multiple US citizens were killed and injured in the Taliban’s 13-hour siege of the hotel, the US state department said.

Eleven of the 14 foreigners had been previously identified as working for the private Afghan airline KamAir. During a ceremony at Kabul’s airport on Wednesday, the bodies of seven Ukrainian citizens were handed over to officials for transfer to Ukraine.

Mirwais Samadi, head of the consulate department of the Afghan foreign ministry, said the attack was launched by “terrorists” and their supporters.

In eastern Ghazni province, meanwhile, four Afghan police were killed after their checkpoint came under attack by insurgents, officials said.

Six insurgents were killed and three were wounded in the battle, which took place early morning Wednesday in Dayak district.

PA Media

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