Gun battle breaks out after blasts at government building in eastern Afghanistan

Gun battle breaks out after blasts at government building in eastern Afghanistan
A gun battle has broken out at a government building in Jalalabad, just days after an attack on a medical centre in the city.
2 min read
31 July, 2018
Tuesday's attack follows a series of blasts that rocked a medical centre in Jalalabad [AFP]

Gunmen stormed a government building after multiple explosions in an ongoing attack in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, an official said.

At least two explosions were heard before the attackers entered the refugees and repatriation department compound, Nangarhar provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP. Several international organisations are also known to be in the vicinity.

Tuesday's attack follows a series of explosions near a Jalalabad medical training centre for midwives on Saturday. A six-hour gun battle broke out after gunmen then stormed the building, leaving two people dead.

Provincial medical officials said on Monday that at least 160 people have been killed and close to 500 wounded in the last three months due to attacks.

Earlier this month, the UN released a report showing a record number of civilians killed in the first six months of 2018, with militant attacks and suicide bombs the leading causes of death.

The toll of 1,692 fatalities was one percent more than a year earlier and the highest for the period since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began keeping records in 2009.

The record death toll came despite an unprecedented ceasefire by Afghan security forces and the Taliban last month that was largely respected by both sides, UNAMA said.

Fighters on both sides have expressed a deep fatigue with the grinding conflict, raising hopes that an end to hostilities was possible after 17 years of war that began with the US-led invasion in 2001 that ousted the Taliban from power.