An attack by insurgents near the United Nations office in Afghanistan killed five people, including three UN employees, the Associated Press reports.
The insurgents drove a suicide bomb truck through a neighborhood that houses UN and international group offices in Kandahar. One insurgent slammed an explosives-rigged pickup truck into a checkpoint and three other insurgents then rushed into the area, taking control of at least one building, the AP reports.
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"We are aware of an explosion which took place earlier this morning in the vicinity of the UNHCR guest house," United Nations spokesman Dan McNorton said, Reuters reports. "All our international staff are accounted for ... the incident is still ongoing. We are working through our processes to make sure all our Afghan staff are safe."
According to Khaama Press, an Afghan newspaper, at least two armed insurgents resisted security forces and were still exchanging fire after reports of the attack were made. The gun battle lasted more than two hours before the militants were shot dead, AP reports. The three killed UN employees worked for the refugee agency, UNHCR. Another two staff members were wounded from the assault and bombing, AP reports.
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"This is a tragedy for UNHCR and for the families of the dead and wounded," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said, AP reports. "It also underscores the great risks for humanitarian workers in Afghanistan."
This attack comes only two days after a suicide car bomber killed 13 troops and civilian employees of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, CNN reports. Deaths in this attack included Americans, Britons, a Canadian and four Afghans. It was the deadliest single ground attack against the coalition in the last 10 years of war in Afghanistan, CNN reports.