A multi-pronged attack is under way on the Afghanistan national electronic ID distribution center in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.
An explosion at the front gate of the compound cleared the way for multiple attackers to enter the compound Wednesday afternoon, according to Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor.
Special forces surrounded the compound soon after and the fighting continues. So far, they have rescued at least 12 employees.
An employee of the distribution center Naveen, Hasan Zeb, told VOA that he was wounded in the initial explosion along with some colleagues. According to Khogyani, 10 people were wounded in the attack. No group has claimed responsibility so far.
This attack comes after two other attacks, one on President Ashraf Ghani’s election rally in Parwan and another on a defense ministry office in Kabul killed at least 48 people. The Taliban claimed both attacks, warning of more to come, especially on election related activities. Afghans will head to the polls on September 28th to elect the next president, a vote the Taliban vehemently opposes.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend and strengthen the mandate of its mission in Afghanistan, overcoming threats of a Chinese veto.
The council was due to vote Monday, a day before the political mission’s mandate expired. But China threatened to veto the draft resolution renewing it because it did not mention its “Belt and Road” development initiative, which links China with parts of Asia, Europe and Africa by sea and land.
Tuesday’s compromise text does not include a specific mention of the Chinese plan, but references support for regional cooperation and connectivity, and working toward a prosperous Afghanistan.