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Japanese Aid Worker, Five Afghans Killed By Gunmen

04 Dec 2019 Gandhara - RFE/RL

A Japanese doctor and aid worker died of his wounds after an attack in eastern Afghanistan that also killed five Afghans, officials say.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar Province’s governor, told RFE/RL that the attack took place on the morning of December 4 in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

Gunmen opened fire at a car carrying Tetsu Nakamura, who headed the Japanese nongovernmental organization Peace Japan Medical Service, seriously wounding him and killing two of his bodyguards, the driver of the car, and another person.

Nakamura was later taken to a local hospital and was in the process of being airlifted to a hospital in Bagram, north of Kabul, when he died, officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban said it was not involved.

FILE: Tetsu Nakamura, who headed the Japanese nongovernmental organization Peace Japan Medical Service

Nakamura has worked in Nangarhar for more than a decade and was recently awarded honorary Afghan citizenship by President Ashraf Ghani.

He was involved in water management and agriculture services.

Mitsuji Fukumoto, an official with Nakamura's organization, told reporters in Tokyo it had "no idea what was the reason behind the attack, whether it was a simple robbery, or whether it was conflict of interest."

The Afghan presidential office, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and the United Nationals Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) strongly condemned the attack.

"This unjustifiable attack targeted not only dedicated humanitarians, but their Afghan patients who NGOs come to serve, care, and help. Aid workers are not targets! Those responsible must be brought to justice," the embassy tweeted.

UNAMA “expresses its revulsion at the killing today of respected Japanese aid worker Dr. Tetsu Nakamura,” the mission said, calling it a “senseless act of violence against a man who dedicated much of his life to helping most vulnerable Afghans.”

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP

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