Afghan Insurgents Attack Red Cross Office

A suicide bombing was carried out against the International Red Cross in Afghanistan several hours ago; at least one security guard has been reported dead.

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Wednesday, May 29 2013- An explosion was set off at the Jalalabad office of the International Committee of the Red Cross today. The ICRC confirmed via Twitter at 10:20 AM Eastern time this morning that “an incident” occurred at the Afghanistan office; the attack occurred around 5:30 PM local time. A spokesman for the ICRC reported that dozens of local employees as well as 6 regular staffers of foreign nationality work at the Jalalabad office.

A suicide bomber detonated a bomb strapped to his vest at the building’s gate, killing a security guard in the process, and at least two more insurgents entered the building following the explosion.  Security forces have since killed the men who entered the building, and are now in the process of searching the surrounding area for other insurgents who may be hiding. Police Chief Masoum Khan Hashimi said that 7 foreign nationals—3 women and 4 men—were rescued following an hour-long shootout according to a report from ABC. One of the rescued men was lightly wounded.

The ICRC “assists the wounded and disabled, supports hospital care and improves water and sanitation services,” and works to prevent the violation of human rights as it monitors hostilities in the region. The group spends $90 million annually on it operations in Afghanistan, making the country the International Red Cross’s largest project globally.

[Source: ICRC, ABC]