Ban on Nepal citizens working in Afghanistan after terror strike

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2016 21:16 IST
A Nepalese security guard caught near a suicide attack receives treatment at a hospital in Kabul on June 20. At least a dozen Nepalese security guards of a foreign logistic company were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber targeted their minibus in the Afghan capital. (AP)

Nepal has banned its citizens from working in Afghanistan after 13 of its citizens were killed and six more injured in a suicide attack in Kabul this week.

The dead men, who were employed as security guards in the Canadian embassy in Kabul, were killed in an early morning attack by the Taliban on June 20 when they were on their way to work. 

The government also decided to continue an earlier ban on Nepalis working in three other conflict-hit countries - Iraq, Libya and Syria. 

“Till the government decides otherwise, Nepalis will not be provided work permits for these four countries,” information minister Sherdhan Rai told journalists after a cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.

The government decided to hold talks with its Afghanistan counterpart regarding the security of Nepalis working in that country and to initiate steps to bring back those who want to return. 

Nearly 9,000 Nepalis have been issued permits to work as security guards in Afghanistan, but some estimate the total figure could be more than 20,000 as many go to the war-torn country illegally.

The cabinet also decided to ask the Canadian government to provide compensation to the families of the dead. 

The Nepali security guards were not directly employed by the embassy but were hired by a British agency. A total of 147 Nepalis were working as security guards in the Canadian embassy in Kabul. 

Twenty-four of them returned to Kathmandu on Wednesday in a special plane sent by the Nepal government to bring back bodies of victims. 

Some reports said there was prior intelligence that the Taliban might carry out such an attack. 

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