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IS attacks aid agency in Afghanistan

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Members of Afghan security force stand guard at the site of an attack in Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, on Jan. 24, 2018. At least 11 people were injured as a suicide bombing rocked Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday, spokesman for provincial government Attaullah Khogiani said. (Xinhua/Saifurahman Safi) (zf)

6 killed in IS attack on international aid agency office in Afghanistan. At least 11 people were injured as a suicide bombing rocked Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday….reports Asian Lite News

Members of Afghan security force stand guard at the site of an attack in Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, on Jan. 24, 2018.  (Xinhua/Saifurahman Safi) (zf)

At least six persons, including three attackers, were killed and 20 injured in an attack on the headquarters of a British aid agency in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city on Wednesday. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the strike.

The assault began in the morning with a suicide car bomb blast at the entrance of Save the Children agency’s compound. Several assailants then stormed into the building in the eastern Afghan city and opened fire.

Officials said about 50 staff were in the building at the time. Nangarhar provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said two security guards, one civilian and three attackers were killed.

Members of Afghan security force stand guard at the site of an attack in Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, on Jan. 24, 2018. (Xinhua/Saifurahman Safi) (zf)

A member of the provincial council of Nangarhar, Zabihullah Zmarai, said an injured assailant was believed to be still inside the building and resisting security forces.

Following the attack, the international aid agency said it had suspended all of its operations in Afghanistan. “We remain committed to resuming our operations and lifesaving work as soon as possible,” it said.

The London-based charity works in 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and its programmes reach more than 700,000 children, according to its website.

The Islamic State’s local affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack via the group’s Amaq news outlet. It said that four attackers and an explosives-laden car had targeted “British, Swedish and Afghan institutions in Jalalabad”.

“I saw a white car arrive, then armed men rushed out of the car,” said a witness. “After that a blast occurred, followed by gunfire. I had to run away to seek safety for myself.”

Images showed a huge plume of thick black smoke rising from the compound and people fleeing from the area, the local media reported.

The aid agency earlier tweeted that it was “devastated”. Save the Children carries out education, healthcare and protection work for children in Afghanistan.

There are at least two schools in the area where the attack occurred. Pictures circulating on social media showed people running away from the scene.

“This is an outrage,” Nicholas Kay, the British ambassador to Afghanistan, said on Twitter.

At least 11 people were injured as a suicide bombing rocked Jalalabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday, spokesman for provincial government Attaullah Khogiani said. (Xinhua/Saifurahman Safi) (zf)

Afghanistan’s CEO Abdullah Abdullah said “such attacks show insurgents do not care and just want to create terror among the people”.

All security forces across the country were ordered to “not show sympathy to insurgents and to eliminate them”, Abdullah said.

Swedish Ambassador to Afghanistan Tobias Thyberg also condemned the attack.

Charity groups continue to work under tough conditions in Afghanistan, facing regular attacks and kidnappings.

In October last year, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced it would be “drastically” reducing “its presence and activities” in the country after several attacks and the killings of seven of its staff members.

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