Published: Thu, December 05, 2019

Japanese doctor shot in Afghanistan

Japanese doctor shot in Afghanistan

Officials told RFE/RL on December 4 that gunmen opened fire at a auto carrying Tetsu Nakamura, a 73-year-old physician who headed a Japanese charity focused on improving irrigation and agriculture in Afghanistan, in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

Tetsu Nakamura, head of Peace Japan Medical Services, died of his wounds on Wednesday after the armed attack in Nangarhar province that left five Afghan members of his entourage, including the doctor's bodyguards, the driver and a passenger, dead.

In late November, an American working for the United Nations mission in Afghanistan was killed and five Afghans, including two staff members of the mission, were wounded when a grenade hit a United Nations vehicle in Kabul.

It was "a senseless act of violence against a man who dedicated much of his life to helping" Afghanistan's most vulnerable, UNAMA said.

In 2003 Nakamura, a native of the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka, won the Philippines' Ramon Magsaysay Award for peace and global understanding - often called Asia's Nobel Prize.

Nakamura was treated at a local hospital but his injuries were too severe, according to a senior official with the provincial government.

In 2014, Dr Nakamura told news outlet the Japan Times he had taken a different route to work each day to ensure his safety.

Peshawar-kai was founded by associates of Nakamura, who had lived and worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1984.

Fond of sporting Pashtun dress, Nakamura was an outspoken opponent of the 2001 US-led war that ousted the Taliban regime, whom he defended as able administrators.

"True happiness for mankind should be realised not through violence or money, but in a humane way".

"I saw there were gunmen attacking a Japanese and his security guards", he said.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Bullet holes are seen in the window of the vehicle Image copyright AFP Image caption The victims were in a white pickup truck Who was Tetsu Nakamura?

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

The region is a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

Armed attacks against worldwide aid groups and agencies of foreign governments are part and parcel of life in the country that has not known political stability for decades.

The Taliban in May struck Counterpart International, a US-funded non-profit group working with marginalised people.

The Taliban control or hold sway over almost half of Afghanistan, staging near-daily attacks that target Afghan forces and government officials but also kill scores of civilians.

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