Japanese doctor, five Afghans killed in Afghanistan attack

Gunmen kill head of Japan aid agency 5 others in Afghanistan

A Japanese aid worker was killed along with five Afghan colleagues in eastern Afghanistan in an armed attack on Tuesday, officials said on Wednesday.

Nangarhar police said they were searching for the attackers, who fled the scene, and that an investigation was under way.

Tetsu Nakamura, 73, was the head of Peace Japan Medical Services - known as Peshawar Kai in Japanese - and had been working in the region since the 1980s, when he began treating patients with leprosy in Peshawar in neighbouring Pakistan.

"Dr. Nakamura's driver and four of his bodyguards were killed in the shooting", he said, adding that "Nakamura has been transferred to a hospital and he is now being treated".

The attack in Nangarhar province targeted Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura as he was heading to the provincial capital, Jalalabad, according to the provincial governor's spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani.

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.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the second in as many weeks targeting aid workers in Afghanistan.

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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 five local Afghans lost their lives on the spot in the attack, he added.

In October this year, he was awarded honorary citizenship from the Afghan government for his humanitarian work.

The ambassador of the Dutch Embassy in Kabul, Ernst Noorman, called the killing "senseless", while the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed "revulsion".

Nakamura had also heavily been involved in the construction of wells and irrigation in villages where many suffered from cholera and other diseases due to 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 worldwide understanding - often called Asia's Nobel Prize.

On November 24, Anil Raj, an American who worked for the UN Development Programme in Afghanistan, was killed when his vehicle was targeted in a bombing in Kabul.

Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the insurgent group "has no connection" to Wednesday's attack and does not consider the Japanese charity a target in the holy war the Taliban are waging to create an Islamic emirate.

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