Tetsu Nakamura, 73, who headed Peace Japan Medical Services, died from wounds sustained when gunmen attacked his vehicle in Jalalabad Photo: AFP
crime

Gunmen kill Japanese doctor, five Afghans

27 Comments
By Noorullah Shirzada

A Japanese doctor who spent decades working in Afghanistan was killed Wednesday along with five Afghans in an attack in the east of the country, officials said.

Tetsu Nakamura, 73, headed Peace Japan Medical Services -- known as Peshawar Kai in Japanese -- since 2008. He was shot by gunmen while in a vehicle in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province.

"Sadly, Dr Nakamura has passed away from the wounds he received in the armed attack this morning," said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar's governor.

The doctor, well-known in Japan, had been shot on the right side of his chest and was in the process of being transferred to a hospital in Bagram near Kabul when he died at Jalalabad airport, officials said.

The five Afghans killed were three of Nakamura's security guards, a driver and another colleague, Khogyani said.

The attack comes as humanitarian groups remain on high alert just days after an American aid worker for the U.N. was killed in a bombing in Kabul.

Mitsuji Fukumoto, an official with Nakamura's organization, told reporters in Tokyo that the motive for Wednesday's attack was unclear.

"We have no idea what was the reason behind the attack, whether it was a simple robbery or whether it was conflict of interest," Fukumoto told reporters.

Nakamura was famous in Japan for his aid work, which dates back decades.

Peshawar-kai was founded by associates of Nakamura, who had lived and worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 1984 when he went to treat leprosy patients among Afghan refugees.

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

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.

Jalalabad resident Auzubillah, who only uses one name, told AFP that he heard shooting at about 8 a.m.

"I saw there were gunmen attacking a Japanese and his security guards," he said. "Then the gunmen left the area through a small street."

Photos from the scene showed a white pickup truck with a large cabin. Its side windows appeared to have been shot out, and at least three bullet holes could be seen in the windscreen.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, saying they have "good relations" with organisations that "contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan".

Nangarhar was once a hotbed of activity for the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate.

Authorities recently claimed the jihadists have been territorially defeated in the province -- but small cells are thought to remain.

Aid agencies and non-governmental groups are sometimes targeted in Afghanistan's war.

On Nov 24, Anil Raj, an American who worked for the U.N. Development Program in Afghanistan, was killed when his vehicle was targeted in a bombing in Kabul.

Also in the capital, the Taliban in May targeted Counterpart International, a U.S.-funded non-profit group working with marginalised people. Nine people were killed in that attack.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


27 Comments
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RIP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is very sad news. I’ve long admired Dr. Nakamura and feel his death will be a great loss for the area.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

An absolutely top bloke,

RIP,Doc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Rest In Peace, sir.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Poor guy.  what an unholy mess the whole Afghan intervention has been.  too many innocents have died.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very sad a doc helping others is murdered.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why, why, why, why, why?????

Such a stupid waste.

PS The Taliban have denied responsibility, saying that no member of that team is a target. The close grouping of those three shots on the windscreen look at first glance like an assassination.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Found it a bit odd that he said the Taliban were good at governing. I heard multiple stories that they were lazy, disinterested in it, (calling it a day by 2:30), and couldn’t keep records for anything, and had a habit of shooting people who liked music, movies, and song birds. All too often Japanese don’t see the big picture.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So many trigger happy extremists high on drugs don’t care whom they kill....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RIP

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Found it a bit odd that he said the Taliban were good at governing. I heard multiple stories that they were lazy, disinterested in it, (calling it a day by 2:30), and couldn’t keep records for anything, and had a habit of shooting people who liked music, movies, and song birds. All too often Japanese don’t see the big picture.

Or maybe he had boots on the ground and knew the reality of the situation. All too often anonymous internet posters talk with complete confidence as if they knew what they were talking about, when they actually are just shooting from the hip without even really knowing what they are talking about.

All I know is I don't know. Could be anonymous internet poster knows what they are talking about. Could be said doctor did.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have thought for a long time now, that generally speaking, the best of the Japanese don't actually live in Japan.

A sad loss to Afghanistan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What a loss.He was a great man and will linger in our minds.Msy he rest in eternal peace.Nuff respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

May.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Providing humanitarian aid in any form to an enemy encourages that enemy's will to resist.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Providing humanitarian aid in any form to an enemy encourages that enemy's will to resist.

Or, demonstrates to the enemy that maybe you shouldn't be enemies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

An incredible human being. Selfless, kind and a true humanitarian.

The bastards who did this want us to give up hope, they want us to be sad and desperate. Never. We carry on for the very likes of Dr. Nakamura, his work and his memory.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All I know is I don't know.

I think most of us are in that situation. An important point, Strangerland. Thanks.

I heard multiple stories that they were lazy, disinterested in it, ...

I read multiple stories daily that say similar things about all kinds of groups, political parties, etc. But is it not often/mostly the case that when we get hands on experience of something, it's nothing like what we read? Generally, it's much more messy and complicated.

Anyway, Mr. Takamura sounds like a great person indeed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s unfortunate this article doesn’t mention that Nakamura focused his work on irrigation projects for decades. Because giving medical treatment for cholera is a stopgap measure where people don’t have access to clean water. And fostering agriculture is a better long term solution to malnutrition etc.

invalid CSRF

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP Dr. Nakamura. I'm so sad about this. But now I want to day other subject now.

In Afghanistan there are many race of people. Pashtun(Afghan), Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek are four biggest race in Afghanistan. Dr. Nakamura had an Asian face like Hazara people in Afghanistan. Hazara people looks like Japanese/Chinese. They've been always under discrimination. Please search on google: Who are the Hazaras?

Two weeks ago Minister of interior of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, said that Hazara people should get less civil rights than others because they have smaller nose. In such country Dr. Nakamura, who had a small nose as a Asian, helped people. I hope Japan Today make a research about Amrullah Saleh's comment and publish a article.

Thanks!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why on earth weren't Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him? Ridiculous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

R.I.P. Doctor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nakamura was an outspoken opponent of the 2001 US-led war that ousted the Taliban regime,

Good.

whom he defended as able administrators.

Are many examples of terrible groups/people that are “able administrators” and nobody would defend those groups/people. The prime example are the Nazis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about the five 5 Afghans also killed? How do their loves ones feel that there is no mention of their names and how they bravely protected a foreign doctor. are they chopped liver? Does the life of one Japanese warrant headline but not one Afghan? Shame on you.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Are many examples of terrible groups/people that are “able administrators” and nobody would defend those groups/people. The prime example are the Nazis.

However if you study the situation in Afghanistan, the time where the Taliban were in control (while not perfect) was a lot more peaceful than the current situation has been for the longest time. The Taliban are an interesting group often turning to violence to govern, however they left the general population relatively alone. It's once they were ousted that they became a lot more violent. That and the various leaders have all had their own philosophies about it, some more brutal than the others.

It's kind of like the Yakuza in that they generally kept the other splinter groups in check.

 The Taliban have denied responsibility, saying that no member of that team is a target. The close grouping of those three shots on the windscreen look at first glance like an assassination.

I thought that too. This was likely a targeted hit by trained gunman. They knew what they were doing. Since the ouster of IS from Syria and the such, the remaining cells have started popping up in Afghanistan. Wonder if that's what this was.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

However if you study the situation in Afghanistan, the time where the Taliban were in control (while not perfect) was a lot more peaceful than the current situation has been for the longest time. The Taliban are an interesting group often turning to violence to govern, however they left the general population relatively alone. It's once they were ousted that they became a lot more violent. That and the various leaders have all had their own philosophies about it, some more brutal than the others.It's kind of like the Yakuza in that they generally kept the other splinter groups in check.

And of you study the hard facts you will find out that the Taliban were created by the Jihadi pakistani military, and are all but state managed by them, every single terrorist act in Afghanistan carried out by Taliban is on behest of there controllers. This Taliban doesnot represet the true afghan fighters, they have been mostly been eliminated by them. It's no Yakuza but a brutal islamist organization.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For a no-holds-barred inside understanding of life under the Taliban when they were in power in Afghanistan, read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

A great book.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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