Afghanistan: UNHCR temporarily suspends work in Nangarhar

KABUL, 27 January (IRIN) - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has temporarily suspended its activities in three separate districts of the eastern province of Nangarhar. The announcement follows Sunday's attack on a two-vehicle convoy of the agency, leaving two dead and one injured.
"UNHCR, in consultation with other UN agencies, has temporarily suspended its missions in the districts of Khogyani, Kunar and Hesarak districts of Nangarhar province," assistant public information officer for the refugee agency, Mohammad Nader Farhad told IRIN in the Afghan capital, Kabul on Monday.

According to Farhad, a UNHCR team, escorted by a security vehicle, on its way to Hesarak district in the provincial capital Jalalabad drove past a dead body. When the escort vehicle stopped to investigate, they came under attack from unknown sources.

"Unfortunately two people lost their lives and one of the men was seriously injured," he explained, noting no one from UNHCR had been killed or injured in the incident.

"Such sudden incidents often happen, but security in general is normal in Nangarhar," he claimed.

However, according to the BBC, the district where the attack happened is notorious for banditry and the growing of opium poppies. "The Afghan security commander for Jalalabad says he thinks the attackers were opposed to the work of the international community in reconstructing Afghanistan,"
the report maintained.

Since the fall of the Taliban, security continues to remain a pivotal issue in the reconstruction of the country, with numerous such incidents being reported.


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