Kabul: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday halted all work across Afghanistan, the day after its offices in Jalalabad were hit by a suicide and gun attack.

The ICRC maintains strict neutrality in the Afghan conflict and was thought to be protected from attack by its working relations with the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

"All our activities have been frozen and our office in Jalalabad is closed," the organization said on its Twitter account.

"As a consequence of the attack... people will not be getting valuable help such as food and medical aid. "We are in contact with people from many different groups in the country to try to understand why the attack took place."

No militant group has claimed the attack, in which one guard died at the start of the two-hour assault. It was the first time that offices of the ICRC had been targeted since the organisation began work in Afghanistan in 1987.

ICRC, which has 1,800 employees nationwide, had 36 staff, including six expatriates, in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

(Agencies)

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