The United States strongly condemns the suicide attack yesterday in Kunar province, Afghanistan, that killed USAID Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah, three ISAF servicemembers and an Afghan civilian, and injured a State Department Foreign Service Officer. 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.
Ragaei’s work over the last year was critical to our efforts to support Afghanistan’s political, economic, and security transitions and was an example of the highest standards of service. Over the last 15 months — partnering with local officials — he 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 our mission and to the people of Afghanistan that he volunteered to serve a second year.
With the work of people such as Ragaei, the civilian surge we 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.
I send my thanks to our 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. It strengthens our 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.