Afghan insurgents attack International Red Cross office in Jalalabad
Wednesday 29 May 2013
Afghan attackers have launched a coordinated assault on a guest house used by the Red Cross.
They blasted through the gates with a suicide bomber before storming the building and setting off a gun battle. The attack in the eastern city of Jalalabad is the second major assault against an international organisation in five days.
A spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said the assault began just before dusk with a suicide blast at the entrance to the guest house compound belonging to the RedCross.
"The initial reporting shows that two other people have entered the building. Right now a gun battle is going on between the Afghan security forces and the attackers. We have reports of one guard of the guest house being killed as a result of the attack. From the battle we have no reports of other casualties," he said.
The Red Cross said: "We can confirm that there has been an attack on our offices in Jalalabad. We are working to find out the whereabouts and well-being of our colleagues."
No-one claimed responsibility, and it is unclear why insurgents would want to target the Red Cross, which not only carries out humanitarian work around Afghanistan but also is the conduit for families to communicate with detainees taken off the battlefield, including the Taliban.
The Red Cross warned last month that security was deteriorating across Afghanistan as militants flood the battlefield and conduct attacks in what could be the most important spring fighting season of the nearly 12-year-old war.
The violence comes just five days after Taliban gunmen backed by a suicide car bomber attacked the Kabul offices of the International Organisation for Migration, killing two Afghan civilians and a police officer. The assault sparked an hours-long street battle and left another 17 wounded.
The Taliban and others have unleashed a wave of bombings and assassinations around the country, testing the ability of the Afghan security forces to respond with reduced help from international forces, who have begun a withdrawal that will see most foreign troops gone by the end of 2014.
This year is crucial for Afghanistan as the coalition is expected to hand over the lead for security in Afghanistan to the country's security forces sometime in the late spring. Foreign military forces are then expected to begin a massive withdrawal that will culminate at the end of next year.
Earlier, seven insurgents wearing police uniforms and bomb-laden vests attacked a government compound in Panjshir, a usually secure province in eastern Afghanistan. One police officer was killed and another was wounded.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
Far-right organisation has defended its actions on Facebook
Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
FCKH8: Provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£4848 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Outstanding...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors/Long Term Teaching Ass...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors needed for seco...