Attackers storm NGO office in Afghan city, clashes underway

Afghanistan

The attack began with a suicide auto bomb outside the office, followed by gunmen entering the compound and battling Afghan special forces, a spokesman for the government in the eastern province said. Gunmen then entered the building.

Officials said that the Jalalabad office of Save the Children, which works on health and education issues, shares a wall with another aid organization, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, and that the Swedish group's staff had been evacuated. Save the Children's main Afghanistan office said it was "devastated" about the assault and was awaiting further information.

According to TOLO News, officials have confirmed 11 people wounded in suicide bombing outside Save the Children organisation.

"I am hearing gunfire from inside Save the Children compound". "I jumped out of the window", Amin said.

The incident comes just days after assailants stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital of Kabul.

Another witness said: "It might be a complex attack".

A reporter for Afghanistan's TOLO news channel, who survived by hiding on a balcony, described to CNN horrific scenes of attackers searching for victims room by room and desperate guests jumping from balconies.

The attack is also the latest violence to strike a foreign aid group in war-torn Afghanistan.

In October, the Red Cross announced that it was drastically reducing its operations in Afghanistan following attacks that killed seven of its staff past year.

The province has become a stronghold for Islamic State, which has grown to become one of Afghanistan's most risky militant groups since it appeared around the beginning of 2015.

The charity has been working in Afghanistan for more than 40 years, providing support to over 700,000 children.

United States and Afghan forces have been carrying out ground and air operations against IS fighters in Nangarhar.

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