Deadly attack on Red Cross office in Afghanistan's Jalalabad leaves at least 1 dead


An Afghan wowan waiting at the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Kabul to leave for Bagram, Afghanistan.


Shah Marai

A Red Cross (ICRC) office in the eastern city of Jalalabad was attacked Wednesday, prompting a swift rescue operation led by Afghan Special Forces, who reportedly saved seven foreigners from the burning building. 

Deputy provincial police chief Masoum Khan Hashimi told the Associated Press Afghan forces had rescued three men and four women from the office. He said one man had suffered slight injuries but all the other foreigners were unharmed. The ICRC later tweeted: "One of our guards was killed," and said a staff member was injured, following that with: 

The attack was thought to be the work of a suicide bomber, but the BBC noted the news has yet to be independently confirmed. Multiple reports said the attack led to a fierce gun battle, with the AP reporting one Afghan security officer killed in the crossfire. 

A spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor said violence is ongoing, reported the BBC

"There is a terrorist attack against the office of the ICRC," an interior ministry spokesman told Agence-France Press, adding: "The area is currently surrounded by police."

As Al Jazeera has it

A large explosion was heard after the office came under attack, according to witnesses, who said the blast shattered glass quite a distance away. 

The Red Cross tweeted a confirmation that "an incident" had taken place at the Jalalabad office: