UNHCR closes office after bomb threat
PESHAWAR: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Peshawar was closed on Thursday following a bomb threat on Wednesday.
“There was a threat and the UNHCR office was closed in Peshawar only as a precautionary measure,” Jack Redden, the UNHCR spokesman in Islamabad, told Daily Times by phone on Thursday. He said local police were looking into it. The UNHCR Peshawar office received an anonymous phone call on Wednesday saying a bomb was planted inside the office building.
UNHCR staff was vacated soon after the call. A bomb disposal squad searched the building but found no bomb.
Meanwhile, the UNHCR will temporarily suspend assistance for voluntary repatriation movements to Afghanistan during the first 10 days of October to prevent any disruption of efforts to register voters for Afghanistan’s presidential election on October 9, a UNHCR press release said. However, the UNHCR will continue to register Afghans in Pakistan seeking repatriation and will assist their departure with the resumption of the whole programme on October 11.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has set October 1 to October 3 for the registration of Afghans who wish to participate in the election. Voting will take place on October 9. It was feared that repatriation at the same time as the voting could produce confusion and potentially prevent some Afghans from participating in the election.