UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement on Wednesday that an employee of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was killed in Tuesday’s attack in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province.
“It is with profound sadness that the United Nations family in Afghanistan confirms that an employee of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was killed in yesterday’s attack on the Department of Refugees and Returnees in Jalalabad,” UANAMA said in the statement, adding that “Our immediate thoughts are with her family and friends.”
“The United Nations expresses its deep sense of revulsion at this senseless attack that claimed the lives of at least 13 civilians. Among the 20 others injured was another IOM colleague. The UN wishes him and all the injured a speedy and full recovery,” it said.
“I condemn this heinous crime which has taken the life of a brave colleague in Jalalabad and left another grievously injured,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims, and all of us in IOM are thinking of our staff working in difficult conditions across the country on behalf of the Afghan people.”
The statement also said that “Our colleague’s life was taken while she was working in the noble cause of assisting some of the most vulnerable communities in Afghanistan. There is no justification for such acts of terror. She is one of thousands of Afghans who form the backbone of the daily work of the United Nations in the country to help the most in need, supporting development and contributing to the restoration of peace and stability.”
It also said that she was 22 years old and lost her husband in a bombing in Kabul three years ago. She leaves behind a six-year old daughter, now an orphan.
“We mourn the loss of our colleague and, in tribute, commit ourselves to re-double our work to serve Afghanistan and its peoples,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
“The deliberate targeting of civilians and the places where they work, such as the department in Jalalabad, is an appalling crime. The architects of this crime must be brought to justice,” according to the statement.
The statement was issued after insurgents carried out an attack that lasted over six hours on Tuesday.
Officials said a car bomb was detonated close to the entrance of the compound at about 11.30am and was followed by two gunmen storming the building.
A number of employees were able to escape during the course of the day, but many remained trapped inside.
Throughout the day gunfire could be heard coming from the area while plumes of black smoke could also be seen soon after the attack started.
This comes just three days after a complex attack on a midwife training center in Jalalabad.
This attack lasted almost six hours – and claimed the lives of two people.
On Monday Nangarhar provincial health officials raised concerns over the sharp increase in civilian deaths in the past three months in the province.
They said 160 people had been killed and over 490 wounded in the province in serious security incidents in this time.