ICRC pulls out staff from Afghanistan

An Afghan policeman stands guard beside the burnt wreckage of vehicles belonging to the International Red Cross after an attack in Jalalabad on May 29, 2013.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is removing some of their international staff from Afghanistan due to the deteriorating security situation across the war-ravaged country.

The announcement comes days after a deadly attack on a Red Cross office in the volatile eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad killed at least one person and severely injured several others.

“We have decided to reduce the number of expatriates in the field and in Kabul simply because we don’t understand what happened in Jalalabad,” ICRC spokesman Robin Waudo said, adding that “It was a serious security incident. We are trying to understand how it came about.”

The spokesman however declined to give the exact number of staff being withdrawn or the affected services.

“This is a temporary measure that impacts on operations, but we will maintain our humanitarian services for those affected by conflict,” he noted.

The developments come after at least one security guard was killed and several others, including a foreign national, injured after an explosion took place at the ICRC gate in the city on Wednesday.

Following the explosion, unknown gunmen stormed the compound and a gun-battle broke out between Afghan security forces and the assailants.

No person or group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, Taliban militants are usually blamed for similar attacks.

The Taliban recently announced the start of their annual “spring offensive” across Afghanistan and vowed to increase their attacks on US-led troops stationed in the country as well as Afghan forces.

The US-led war in Afghanistan, which has caused record-high civilian and military casualties, has become the longest military conflict in the American history.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV