ICRC confirms halting work across country
KABUL (PAN): Following a suicide attack on its office in the eastern city of Jalalabad, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has halted operations across Afghanistan, an official said on Friday.
The humanitarian organisation, suspending work in 16 regions of the country on Thursday, has closed its office in Nangarhar province, ICRC spokesman in Kabul Abdul Haseeb Rahimi confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News.
Six assailants and two ICRC staffers were killed in Wednesday’s attack, which left two Afghan workers wounded. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bomb-gun attack, which drew widespread condemnation.
Rahimi said the Red Cross being a neutral humanitarian outfit supported no warring party. Pending an investigation, the ICRC could not blame any group for the attack, he added.
On Thursday, ICRC's South Asia chief Jacques De Maio said: "All movements have been frozen throughout Afghanistan, there is not a single ICRC delegate or employee that is moving, taking the roads, today."
In a statement released in Geneva, the official said the ICRC sub-delegation in Jalalabad had been closed. “We are reconnecting with the government and re-connecting with armed groups to determine what happened and why."
The group, which launched operations in Afghanistan in 1987, has 1,800 employees in the country, including 36 in Jalalabad.
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