Militants launched a complex attack on the offices of Save the Children in police district three (PD3) of Jalalabad (Nangarhar province) on Wednesday, January 24, killing at least six people and wounding 27 others. Islamic State (IS) later claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack began around 09:10 (local time) as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was detonated outside the building; the assailants then fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to enter the building and engaged Afghan security forces in a gun battle that lasted almost ten hours. Additional IS attacks on aid workers and related organizations are possible in Jalalabad and in Nangarhar province in the coming weeks.
Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) is active in Nangarhar province, and has recently carried out deadly attacks in the area. A suspected IS-KP bombing attack left at least 18 people dead and 13 others wounded in Jalalabad on December 31.
IS-KP has also perpetrated several attacks elsewhere in Afghanistan in recent weeks; most recently a suicide bombing attack killed at least 41 people and wounded over 80 others at a Shi'a cultural center and adjacent news agency in the Dacht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul on December 28.
Individuals present in Jalalabad are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to major security concerns, individuals throughout Afghanistan are urged to keep a safe distance from large gatherings, military convoys, government buildings, and crowded urban areas. Many Western governments advise their citizens against travel to Afghanistan due to the high threat of kidnapping and terrorism, including frequent attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, local civilians and politicians, and individuals working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Travel to the country should only be undertaken with proper security protocols in place.
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