Gunmen blasted their way into Save the Children’s office in Afghanistan’s restive east Wednesday, witnesses and officials said, in an ongoing attack that has wounded at least 11 people.
After blowing up a car outside the British charity’s compound in Jalalabad city, the attackers used a rocket propelled grenade to storm the complex.
“I can hear two attackers… They are looking for us,” an employee hiding inside the building told a friend in a WhatsApp message seen by an AFP reporter.
“Pray for us … Inform the security forces,” the man begged.
Nangarhar governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP the attack started at 9:10 am — shortly after staff would have arrived at the office.
“A group of armed men then entered the compound. So far 11 wounded people have been brought to hospitals,” Khogyani added.
Mohammad Amin, who was inside the compound when the attackers launched the raid, told AFP from his hospital bed that he heard “a big blast”.
“We ran for cover and I saw a gunman hitting the main gate with an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) to enter the compound. I jumped out of the window,” Amin said.
Afghan TV news channels showed a thick plume of black smoke rising above the compound and what appears to be at least one vehicle on fire outside the office.
Another witness told AFP: “It might be a complex attack.
I am hearing gun fire from inside Save the Children compound.”
Today’s assault comes days after Taliban gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, killing at least 22 people, mostly foreigners.