Blast kills guard at Afghan Red Cross office

Suicide attack at the gate of humanitarian charity's compound in Jalalabad is second deadly explosion on Thursday.

    A guard at the gate of a humanitarian charity in Afghanistan's Jalalabad has been killed after attackers hit the compound.

    A large explosion was heard on Wednesday near the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

    Officials said the attack began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up. Afghan security forces then fought the remaining attackers inside the ICRC building.

    The provincial governor's spokesman confirmed to Al Jazeera that the guard had died in the attack. One other person was said to be injured.

    Part of the ICRC building in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province was on fire shortly after the blast, and gunfire could be heard, a Reuters witness said. 

    Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from the city, said she could see "clouds of dark smoke over Jalalabad" and that earlier she had heard gunfire.

    "The Red Cross compound is burning," she said.

    Afghan security forces rescued seven foreign ICRC staff, according to the interior ministry, with one of them reported to have suffered minor injuries.

    ICRC's $90m-a-year operations in Afghanistan are the group's biggest in the world.

    About 1,800 ICRC staff work on projects including providing orthopaedic limbs to the war-wounded, and visiting fighters in jails.

    The attack came after Afghan security forces reportedly repulsed an attack by seven suicide bombers on the governor's office in the northeastern Panjshir province.

    Three bombers blew themselves up and four others were killed by police during Wednesday's attack, which also destroyed Kramuddin Karim's office and left one police officer dead.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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