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Jalalabad charity attack ends, 5 killed, 25 injured

Jalalabad charity attack ends, 5 killed, 25 injured

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Jan 24, 2018 - 09:56

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The deadly attack on the Save the Children charity came to an end after all the four attackers were killed in a 10-hour standoff with security forces in this eastern city on Wednesday.

Five people were killed and 25 others wounded in the attack that prompted the organization to close its offices in Afghanistaninfo-icon and temporarily suspend operations.

The attack in Maraston square area began at about 9am and came to an end at 7pm after all the four attackers were killed, a security official told Pajhwok Afghan News on the condition of anonymity.

He said currently security forces had entered inside the building. He said two workers of the Save the Children charity and one guard, one civilian and one Afghan commando soldier were killed and 25 others including six security men were wounded in the attack.

The source said 47 Save the Children workers including 13 womeninfo-icon were rescued by security forces.

Earlier at 5pm, Nangarhar governor Gulab Mangal told reporters at the scene that 18 wounded people had been discharged from hospital after initial treatment.

He said dozens of the Save the Children workers had been trapped inside the building and they were rescued by security forces, an effort that prolonged the siege.

Sher Bahad Mushfaq, a worker of Save the Children, said he had been inside the building during the entire episode. He saw his relatives waiting outside the building after he was rescued.

“It was around 9am when first a blast took place at the office gate and then a number of gunmen entered the office,” he told Pajhwok Afghan News

He said all workers of the organization had been hiding in the office’s secure room until they were rescued by security forces in the afternoon.

Daesh or so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the children’s relief charity. The group said the attack was executed by a car suicide bomber and three other gunmen.

The Talibaninfo-icon have denied hand in the attack.

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the bomb and gun attack in the limits of the 3rd police district of the city began at around 9am.

The attackers first detonated a bomb before entering the building. They killed one civilian and one policeman and injured 22 others, including 17 civilians, three policemen.

President Ashraf Ghani in a statement from his office condemned the attack and said the enemies wanted to hide their defeat by carrying out such cowardly attacks.

The president said Afghanistan’s effective diplomacy and security forces had tightened the noose on terrorist groups and their supporters and the attack on the children’s organization showed their frustration.

Ghani said the attack would not deter the Save the Children organization’s resolve to help save children’s lives and vowed increased attention to the security of foreign and local aid workers.

In a statement after the attack, Save the Children organization said it was suspending its activities across Afghanistan and closing its offices temporarily.

Calling Afghanistan one of the most difficult places to be a child and for aid workers to operate in, the organization said its humanitarian aid reaches 1.4 million children in the country.

“We remain committed to resuming our operations and lifesaving work as quickly as possible; as soon as we can be assured it’s safe to do so.”

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