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Red Cross halts work in Afghanistan after deadly attack

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, June 1 (UPI) — The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has suspended work in Afghanistan, following a fatal attack on ICRC offices in Jalalabad this week.

A security guard was killed and a staff member was wounded in the attack, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Robin Waudo, an ICRC spokesman in Afghanistan, said the organization had suspended activities in Jalalabad and “our offices are closed until further notice.”

He said the organization had not carried out activities in any part of the country “in the past two days.”

Waudo said the Red Cross would resume limited operations Saturday in areas other than Jalalabad while it conducted a security assessment and determined who was responsible for the attack.

The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack. Spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said in a statement, “We are not supporting this kind of attack.”

The Taliban praised the Red Cross in June 2012 for its non-partisan approach to providing assistance to Afghans. The organization has worked with the Taliban in conducting polio vaccine programs in areas controlled by the militant group.

Seventy-four humanitarian organizations incurred 164 attacks last year, the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office says. Armed opposition groups conducted 56 percent of the attacks while 12 percent were committed by Afghan or international security forces, the office said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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