Attack on Save the Children aid group office in Afghanistan

Jan 24, 2018, 11:31
Attack on Save the Children aid group office in Afghanistan

Gunmen stormed the office of Save the Children in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad after an explosion on Wednesday morning, officials said.

Before the attackers stormed the office, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle at the gate. The security forces are clearing the building now. "Attackers entered the compound and the fight is going on".

Another witness told AFP: "It might be a complex attack".

Local media have reported children at a nearby school were seen running from the area as gunfire was heard.

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The incident comes just days after assailants stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital of Kabul.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said two attackers are thought to have entered the NGO's office, adding that special forces and ambulances have arrived on the scene.

The UN's mission in Afghanistan tweeted that it was looking into reports of the attack. "Any attack on children & humanitarians is a crime against humanity".

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The assault on Save the Children, which has operated in Afghanistan since 1976, is the latest violence to strike a foreign aid group in the country.

In October, the Red Cross announced that it was drastically reducing its operations in Afghanistan following attacks that killed seven of its staff past year.

The charity has been working in Afghanistan for more than 40 years, providing support to over 700,000 children.

Nangarhar, a restive province bordering Pakistan, is a stronghold for the Islamic State group and also has a significant Taliban presence.

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Backed by intensive USA air strikes, Afghan forces have claimed growing success against the Taliban and other militant groups, including Islamic State, but militant attacks on civilian targets have continued, causing heavy casualties.

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