IOM Kabul office to resume work after Friday attack
KABUL (PAN): The UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Kabul on Sunday announced the resumption of its regular operations on Monday, saying Friday's coordinated attack by the Taliban would not deter its mission.
Addressing a press conference, Richard Danziger, the IOM chief in Kabul, told reporters their investigations showed the office had deliberately been attacked. The attack was planned in advance as the assailants knew from where to attack, he said..
He said the IOM office had been active in Afghanistan over the last two decades with most of its activities focused on humanitarian assistance.
He said they would be back at work on Monday (tomorrow) but not cent percent. "But we will be operational and we are not going to let this terrorist act prevent us from doing the work that we have been asked to do in Afghanistan," Danziger said.
During the Friday attack that lasted several hours, a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the gate of the IOM office, breaching security.
Four other assailants shot their way in after the explosion and took refuge in a nearby building when they could not enter the IOM premises.
Danziger said an Afghan police officer guarding the compound had died in the attack. Additionally, four IOM staff members, five Nepalese security guards and one other United Nations employee were injured in the attack.
"We have four of our staff who are injured, one very severely burned and has been evacuated to Europe. There is one staff (member) from another UN agency (International Labour Organization) that was quite badly injured and will be evacuated today," he told reporters.
"It is now confirmed that, on Friday, the IOM office was very deliberately the target of this attack. This was very planned and advanced. They clearly knew from which side to attack our compound," Danziger said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault within hours, saying that a "CIA rest house" was their prime target.
"We are absolutely mystified as to why we would have been the target of this attack ... We know it can be enough to be an international organization to be a target. This talk of CIA we don't understand, frankly," Danziger said.
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