UN food agency says shocked at killing of staff member in Afghanistan

11:14, December 29, 2009      

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The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Monday expressed its deep distress over the killing of one of its staff members in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar, UN officials said here.

The WFP employee, 24, was among the eight people killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in a horse-drawn cart in central Kandahar on the evening of Dec. 24, said the officials. Three civilians and a police officer were injured in the blast.

The identity of the slain WFP warehouse security guard, an Afghan national who had been working with the agency since July, will not be released for his family's protection, the officials said.

"I am shocked and saddened by this terrible loss," WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of this dedicated man whose courage and commitment have contributed to our ability to provide food assistance to the hungry in southern Afghanistan," she added.

The security guard was off-duty at the time of the explosion. His remains are being taken to Pakistan, where his family lives, for burial. Although details are still being collected, WFP does not believe he was the intended target of the blast. The agency said it appears that he was passing by on his motorcycle when the bomb exploded.

Five UN staff members were killed when militants armed with automatic weapons and grenades attacked a guest house, home to over 30 UN workers, in the capital, Kabul, in the early hours of Oct. 28.

Source: Xinhua
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