News / Asia

Western Journalist Gunned Down in Kabul

FILE - Journalist Nils Horner, who was shot and killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 11, 2014, is pictured in Stockholm, August 20, 2013.
FILE - Journalist Nils Horner, who was shot and killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 11, 2014, is pictured in Stockholm, August 20, 2013.
Sharon Behn
A journalist of Swedish and British nationality was gunned down in broad daylight on the streets of Kabul Tuesday, underscoring increasing violence in the Afghan capital in the approach to presidential elections in April.

Nils Horner had been in Kabul only a few days when he was shot in the head and killed Tuesday.  An experienced radio reporter, he was walking with his interpreter down a heavily guarded street when two men came up to him. One drew a gun and shot Horner in the head.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the daylight killing, underlining growing insecurity in the capital and the multiple threats that exist in the country beyond that hardline militant group.

Mujeeb Khalwatgar, head of an organization that supports independent media in Afghanistan, says he expects more attacks against journalists as the April 5 presidential elections get closer.

“We will be witnessing more threats and incidents against journalists," he said. "This was because the government of Afghanistan wants to put more pressure on media, and also the insecurity increasing is something that says for us that the threats and violences against journalists raise day by day.”

The Taliban have said they will kill anyone who takes part in the April 5 ballot.
Khalwatgar said three journalists have been killed since the start of the year, and more than 10 others have been physically or verbally harassed.

The Swedish embassy confirmed Horner's death. The killing took place not far from a Lebanese restaurant bombed by the Taliban in January, killing 21 people. Thirteen were foreigners.

Jan Kubis, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, swiftly condemned the killing of a media worker, adding his deep concern for all civilians targeted by violence. In a statement, Kubis called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Horner was in the heavily guarded Akbar Khan diplomatic area of Kabul when he was shot. His organization said he was an experienced journalist who worked in Iraq and Egypt as well as Afghanistan.

Witnesses said the gunman shot Horner in the back of the head. The reporter collapsed in a pool of blood. He was taken to a hospital but was dead on arrival. Swedish Radio said it was one of the worst days in the organization’s history.

Despite heavy security around the capital, including high blast walls, rolls of barbed wire and armed guards, bomb and gun attacks on hotels, guest houses and embassies have killed foreigners and locals before. But it is rare for a single foreigner to be openly gunned down on the street.

Khalwatgar said he expected more such attacks as international combat forces complete their withdrawal from the country at the end of the year.

“International withdrawal from Afghanistan is something we think, as we [approach] the end of this withdrawal, we are perceiving more threats and pressure," he said.

He said there already was a pattern of increased violence in the areas where Afghan troops have taken the place of international forces that have departed.

Kabul has a considerable community of foreigners working for a wide variety of embassies, news organizations, international aid groups and non-governmental organizations.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: abbi from: abbi stanberry
March 11, 2014 3:02 PM
I wont to here more plz.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid