Red Cross halts all staff movement after Afghan attack.
|An Afghan policeman walks past a vehicle as he |
investigates the aftermath of Wednesday's suicide
attack and gun battle at the International Red Cross
building in Jalalabad east of Kabul, May 30, 2013.
— Photo by AP
KABUL | 31 May 2013:: The International Committee of the Red Cross has halted all staff movement across Afghanistan and closed its office in Jalalabad which was hit by a deadly suicide and gun attack.
The two-hour assault on Tuesday, which left one Afghan guard dead, was the first time ICRC offices have been targeted in Afghanistan since the organisation began work there 26 years ago.
An International Organization for Migration (IOM) complex in Kabul came under sustained attack less than a week earlier, and the two incidents raise the prospect of a new phase in the Taliban's 12-year insurgency in which no organisation is considered off-limits.
The ICRC, with 1,800 employees nationwide, had 36 staff including six expatriates in Jalalabad, which is close to the Pakistani border and surrounded by some of Afghanistan's most unstable districts.
“All movements have been frozen throughout Afghanistan, there is not a single ICRC delegate or employee that is moving, taking the roads, today,” Jacques De Maio, ICRC's South Asia chief, said in a statement released in Geneva on Thursday.
“Our sub-delegation in Jalalabad has been closed, so we are reconnecting with the government and re-connecting with armed groups to determined what happened and why.”
Jalalabad lies on the key route from the Pakistani border region to Kabul, and it has been the scene of repeated attacks in recent years.
A message on the ICRC's Twitter page had initially said that all the organisation's activities across Afghanistan had been suspended. Read more>>>
[Courtesy: AFP & Dawn].