Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 25 November 2020

Afghan gunmen kill head of Japan aid agency and five others

Ambush comes week after grenade attack on UN vehicle in Kabul

Afghan security forces inspect the site of an attack on a vehicle carrying Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 4, 2019. Reuters
Afghan security forces inspect the site of an attack on a vehicle carrying Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 4, 2019. Reuters

Gunmen on Wednesday killed six people, including the head of a Japanese aid agency, in an attack on their vehicle in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

The ambush came a week after a grenade attack on a UN vehicle in Kabul heightened fears for those performing humanitarian work amid one of the world's longest-running conflicts.

This picture taken on February 16, 2009 shows Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura in Fukuoka prefecture. AFP
This picture taken on February 16, 2009 shows Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura in Fukuoka prefecture. AFP

Tetsu Nakamura, head of Peace Japan Medical Services, was involved in rebuilding Afghan irrigation and agriculture, and had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for decades of humanitarian work in the country's east.

The gunmen fled the scene and police launched a search operation to arrest them, Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the governing council in the province of Nangarhar, told Reuters.

Mr Qaderi believed Dr Nakamura had become a target because of his work.

"Dr Nakamura has been doing great work in the reconstruction of Afghanistan," he said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the militant group was not involved.

"The Afghan government strongly condemns the heinous and cowardly attack on Afghans' greatest friend, Dr Nakamura," said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

"He has dedicated all his life to change the lives of Afghans."

Updated: December 5, 2019 03:23 AM

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