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Save the Children Charity Suspends Operations Following ISIS Attack in Afghanistan

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Smoke rises after a suicide car bomber targeted an office of Save the Children, in eastern Nangarhar province Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on January 24. Getty Images

Save the Children, the charity whose Jalalabad, Afghanistan, offices were attacked on Wednesday, said that it has temporarily suspended all operations in the country, and that fighting at the scene of the attack continues. Attackers set off explosives and then stormed the charity's offices.

At least three people have been killed and 20 injured in the attack so far, which was claimed by members of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

In a statement, Save the Children said: “We remain committed to resuming our operations and lifesaving work as soon as possible. Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a child and for humanitarian workers to operate in. Our humanitarian work in Afghanistan reaches almost 1.4 million children.”

Save the Children works in 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, according to its website. The charity provides children in Afghanistan with primary education, basic nutrition and food security, and sponsorship.

In a communique issued by the Islamic State and published by the SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS said it had killed over 100 “apostates” in a suicide bombing and raid on the Save the Children office. The terrorist group is known to exaggerate the number of casualties and also to take credit for attacks it was not involved in.

“The martyrdom-seeking brother Umar Khattab al-Shinwari and the immersers Shahidullah al-Waziristani, Mughira al-Khorasani, and Khalid Afridi - may Allah accept them - armed with an explosive-laden vehicle, 3 explosive vests, rocket-propelled grenades, and hand grenades, mounted the attack on the 'Save The Children' foundation belonging to the Crusader United Nations,” the group said in a statement.

The group allegedly set off a car bomb outside the office before gunmen stormed the charity’s compound.

The Islamic State first appeared in Afghanistan around 2014. The group’s Afghan branch is known as the Islamic State in Khorasan. The group is reportedly strengthening its base in Afghanistan as it suffers military defeat in its traditional strongholds Syria and Iraq. 

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