Afghanistan: WFP Statement on Staff Fatality in Kandahar

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KANDAHAR - The World Food Programme said it was deeply distressed to learn that one of its staff members was amongst the innocent victims of the suicide bombing in the southern city of Kandahar on Thursday 24 December.

The remains of the slain WFP security guard were identified by a relative on Sunday. For his family's protection, his identity is not being released.

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

The victim was a 24-year-old Afghan national who began working with WFP in July as a warehouse security guard.

He was among the eight people killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives concealed in a horse-drawn cart in central Kandahar on the evening of 24 December. Three Afghan civilians and a police officer were wounded in the blast.

The security guard was off-duty at the time of the explosion. Although details are still being collected, WFP does not believe he was the intended target of the blast. It appears that he was passing by on his motorcycle when the bomb went off.

His remains are being taken to Pakistan where his family lives, for burial.

For further information:

Abdul Jamil Alkozai, WFP/Afghanistan, Tel. + 93-797662000 Ext: 2423, Mob. +93-797662014