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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid