A USAID officer was killed in a suicide bombing Wednesday in Kunar Province in Afghanistan.
Reports say the suicide attack also killed Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah, three ISAF service members and an Afghan civilian, and injured a State Department Foreign Service officer.
The fallen Ragaei Abdelfattah was a former master planner for Prince George’s County who had come from Egypt and worked with the United States.
Today at DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States strongly condemns the suicide attack that killed USAID Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah, three ISAF service members.
“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I have sent my deepest condolences to Ragaei’s family and to the entire U.S. Mission in Afghanistan.” -Ms. Clinton
According to Ms. Clinton, Ragaei Abdelfattah’s work over the last year was critical to US efforts to support Afghanistan’s political, economic, and security transitions and was an example of the highest standards of service.
She says over the last 15 months – partnering with local officials, Ragaei Abdelfattah worked in eastern Afghanistan to help establish new schools and health clinics, and deliver electricity to the citizens of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces.
Ragaei was so committed to US mission and to the people of Afghanistan that he volunteered to serve a second year, she added.
Ms. Clinton stresses that with the work of people such as Ragaei, the civilian surge the US launched in Afghanistan in 2009 has made a tremendous impact, strengthening the capacity of the Afghan Government and laying a foundation for long-term sustainable development.
“Though we are shocked and saddened by this loss and will miss Ragaei, our efforts will continue.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton sends her thanks to US Diplomatic Security and military colleagues who work hard to ensure that our civilians in the field can get out each and every day to work side-by-side with our Afghan partners.
Yesterday’s tragic incident is a reminder of our shared mission and shared sacrifice, she said.
She underlines that the fateful incident strengthens US resolve to continue working with the Afghan people to build their economy, democratic institutions, rule of law, and security so that Afghanistan can stand on its own as a stable, secure, and increasingly prosperous country.
“I also want to send my appreciation today to all of my State Department and USAID colleagues around the world who work every day in challenging environments to advance U.S. interests and promote freedom and prosperity.” -Ms. Clinton
Last month, the US government announced that Afghanistan is officially designated as its major non-NATO ally.
The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan’s future.
In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition that will see Afghan forces gradually taking the lead in securing their own country.
By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.
The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 “surge” troops in December 2009 will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.
The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals.
Reports say the U.S. government is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region.
The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.