Japanese doctor, 5 Afghans, killed in Jalalabad , South Asia News & Top Stories

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

Police in Afghanistan say a vehicle carrying a Japanese doctor, Tetsu Nakamura, was attacked by an unidentified gunman in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Wednesday.

Six people, including Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, known for his years of aid work in South Asian regions, were killed in a shooting in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, local and Japanese government officials said.

Officials told RFE/RL on December 4 that gunmen opened fire at a vehicle 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.

Nakamura, who was seriously wounded in the chest, died shortly after, while being airlifted to the Bagram airfield hospital in the capital, Kabul, said Gulzada Sanger, the hospital spokesman.

A Japanese doctor who devoted his career to improving the lives of Afghans has died, after being injured in an attack in eastern Afghanistan.

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

Nakamura first arrived in the region in 1984, when he began working in the Leprosy Ward of a Pakistani hospital.

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Nakamura had headedPeace Medical Services, a Japanese charity based in Nangarhar, since 2008. Several years later, after opening a clinic in Afghanistan, he identified malnourishment as the root cause behind his patients' health issues.

Dr Nakamura had also heavily been involved in the construction of wells and irrigation in villages where many suffered from cholera and other diseases because of a lack of clean water.

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.

Mitsuji Fukumoto, a Peshawar-kai spokesman, told a press conference in Fukuoka the group has "no idea" who carried out the attack.

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. It's the second attack on aid workers in the country in recent weeks.

The attack comes as humanitarian groups are on high alert just days after an aid worker for the United Nations was killed in a bombing in Kabul.

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

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