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One killed in attack on UN compound in western Afghanistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Afghan security forces sit in a Humvee vehicle amid ongoing fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces in Kunduz on May 19, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

At least one Afghan security guard has been killed as “anti-government elements” attacked the main United Nations compound in western Afghanistan, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says.

Officials said the UN compound in the western province of Herat had been attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire on Friday, amid heavy fighting between the government forces and Taliban militants.

The UNAMA said no UN personnel were hurt in the assault, which was conducted by “anti-government elements.”

The attack occurred hours after Taliban militants entered Heart city, the provincial capital.

“This attack against the United Nations is deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” said Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Afghanistan.

The perpetrators were not immediately clear. The Taliban militant group put the incident down to possible crossfire.

“It is possible that guards could have sustained harm in crossfire due to close proximity of the office to the fighting,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.

Fighting continues in Afghanistan as peace negotiations between the Kabul government and the Taliban have so far failed to produce an agreement to end the war.

The United States, along with its NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. The invasion, which has led to the longest war in US history, removed the Taliban from power, but it worsened the security situation in the country.

The militants are believed to be in control of about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.

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