Afghanistan: IOM office comes under bomb attack

KABUL, 20 February (IRIN) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) told IRIN on Thursday its offices in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz had come under bomb attack earlier in the week.
"On Tuesday night there were two explosions, one inside and the other just outside the IOM compound," Jarrett Blanc, an IOM programme manager in the Afghan capital, Kabul, said. "Nobody was hurt. Only seventeen windows of the compound building were blown out," Blanc explained, adding, however, the IOM had not delayed or suspended its operations as a result of the incident.

"Due to heavy snow at the time, local IOM staff who work outside in the compound were sheltered in a shed and no-one was injured or killed," David Singh, a media relations officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), told IRIN.

According to security sources there was no fragmentation from the device, ruling out the possibility of it being a grenade. "Evidence so far suggests that it was an improvised explosive device," Singh said.

The IOM office is working in Kunduz province on a transitional initiative programme, in which it provides small grants to community programmes. "It was the first bomb attack on the IOM in Afghanistan," Blanc said.

The attack comes approximately one month after a similar attack on the UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (MACA) in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. There were no casualties in that incident as well.


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