Insecurity remains a pressing issue in Afghanistan, where a suicide attack again took lives Wednesday (Aug. 8), including a seasoned development professional.
Ragaei Abdelfattah, a foreign service officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was killed in Kunar province, along with three NATO soldiers and an Afghan civilian. The attack was reportedly carried out by two vested bombers near the provincial council’s office, where soldiers were on patrol.
A State Department foreign service officer was also injured in the attack.
The incident comes days after Taliban insurgents attacked government buildings and outposts in the province, where the security transition seems to be “happening more gradually,” according to The New York Times.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah condemn the attack. The incident is a “testament to the deep commitment and sacrifice of our dedicated staff who serve in conflict countries like Afghanistan,” Shah said in a statement Thursday (Aug. 9).
Ragaei’s work in Afghanistan included helping establish new schools and health clinics as well as bringing electricity to Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. He had just volunteered for a second year in Afghanistan.
“Though we are shocked and saddened by this loss … our efforts will continue,” Clinton said in a statement, adding it is a “reminder of our shared mission and shared sacrifice.”
A total of 1,145 Afghan civilians were killed from January to June this year, according to a report from the United Nations in Kabul. While the figures are lower compared with the previous corresponding period — when 1,510 civilians were killed — these gains are “fragile” and “do not reflect a move toward a peaceful society,” Nicholas Haysom, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, told The New York Times.
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