British Aid Worker gunned down in Kabul

#1
RIP & condolences.


A British female worker from a Christian aid group was shot dead on the street in Kabul this morning by Taleban militants who accused her of missionary work.

The woman, a member of staff with the Christian charity SERVE who was named locally as Gayle Williams, was killed at 8am as she walked to work in the west of Kabul by two armed men on a motorcycle.

The British embassy in Kabul confirmed the victim's nationality, after early reports suggested that she was South African.

“We are confirming that we are dealing with the death of a British national,” an embassy spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.

A spokesman for the Taleban accused the victim of spreading Christianity amongst Afghans.

"Our people carried out this attack in District 3 of Kabul this morning at 7am," the Taliban's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed told The Times. "The reason that we killed her was because she was spreading Christianity."

It was the first killing of a Western aid worker in Kabul. A spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed the killing but was able to offer few details.

"Two armed men sitting on a motorbike shot her dead. Some bullets hit her body and some hit her leg and when police got there she was dead," Zmarai Bashary said.

A witness to the attack said he had seen the woman walk along the same route to work in the western Karte-Char suburb for about two years.

A labourer working close to the scene of the attack said he heard seven shots. When he reached the scene he saw a woman lying on a footpath.

Western aid agencies have expressed mounting unease at the spreading insecurity in the country in recent months.

There have been 146 security incidents involving non-governmental organisations working in Afghanistan so far this year, compared to 135 for the whole of last year, according to the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office which monitors NGO security.

Twenty-eight aid workers have been killed, among them five internationals, so far this year. There have also been 72 abductions of aid workers.

Three female aid workers from the International Rescue Committee, one of them British, were killed by Taleban militants in an ambush on a road south of Kabul in August.
Question is,should they be there at all until peace is restored?
Spike
 
#2
Very sad, Good people trying to make a difference and this happens. RIP
 
#3
Sad but not surprising. Going somewhere like that as part of a Christian aid group is asking for trouble.
It's all well and good these people trying to make a difference, and caring for their fellow man/woman/hermaphrodites is very noble. Does dying for/because of a cause make a difference? In the long term will it make things worse?
 
#4
spike7451 said:
Question is,should they be there at all until peace is restored?
These aid workers have chosen of their own free will to go out, and do a great job in a dangerous environment.

If they are there providing aid alone then sincere condolences to the victim, however, if they are there and preaching christianity as well then what do they expect?!
 
#5
There are quite a few ARRSErs who post here and work in the humanitarian sector and have worked (and still do) in some of the most difficult and dangerous environments in the world. It is always sad when someone involved in humanitarian work is maimed or killed but the risk of harm is accepted by most as a hazard of the work. All I would say is don't make judgement on whether she was preaching christianity or not. Certainly don't make judgement based on the word of her killers!

Very sad, rest in peace.
 
#6
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there looking for an excuse to murder a westerner and 'justify' it on preaching Christianity.
 
#7
Very sad. It appears that she was walking to work on her own, and she must have known the risk. Shouldn't she have been provided with private security.
 
#8
OK - she was an aid worker, A woman. Working in Iraq. Now she is dead after being shot whilst going about her business.
Her story has been on all the news. Now it is the lead story on BBC TV 6 o'clock news. Interviews with those who news her. Etc Etc.
So - what makes her so different to a soldier who has been shot.Very little publicity like this for him. He has ben sent there and was killed, She was a volunteer.
I just don't understand it.
 
#9
OldRedCap said:
OK - she was an aid worker, A woman. Working in Iraq. Now she is dead after being shot whilst going about her business.
Her story has been on all the news. Now it is the lead story on BBC TV 6 o'clock news. Interviews with those who news her. Etc Etc.
So - what makes her so different to a soldier who has been shot.Very little publicity like this for him. He has ben sent there and was killed, She was a volunteer.
I just don't understand it.

1) civi
2) woman
3) it makes a better story for the tossers in charge of the media and gets the sympathy vote
 
#10
OldRedCap said:
OK - she was an aid worker, A woman. Working in Iraq. Now she is dead after being shot whilst going about her business.
Her story has been on all the news. Now it is the lead story on BBC TV 6 o'clock news. Interviews with those who news her. Etc Etc.
So - what makes her so different to a soldier who has been shot.Very little publicity like this for him. He has ben sent there and was killed, She was a volunteer.
I just don't understand it.
Afghanistan, not Iraq. Different because if aid workers are being shot by the Taliban, that has significant consequences for NGO involvement in the country in general. If a solider is shot by the Taliban, while being just as much of a human tragedy, the wider consequences are less dramatic.
 
#11
ORC - agreed with the lack of coverage - what makes this more "newsworthy" is open to debate.

Female / NGO / Christian NGO / Kabul (easier to cover) / British aid worker / unarmed (not security forces) / helping disabled children / etc.

There are enough there to bring this to the headlines.

Sadly, the death in service of mil pers, is such a regular happening, that the wider public, become numb to it happening. She "appears" a complete innocent (will keep the OPSEC angles out of this) to most readers, so there's plenty for Joe Public to jump on the outrage bus with.

Might not be "right" but, if it bleeds it leads, is only useful in the first instance. Soldiers losing blood (and their lives) in Afghanistan is simply not that interesting to the News Editors anymore, it happens so often.
 
#12
Gren said:
OldRedCap said:
OK - she was an aid worker, A woman. Working in Iraq. Now she is dead after being shot whilst going about her business.
Her story has been on all the news. Now it is the lead story on BBC TV 6 o'clock news. Interviews with those who news her. Etc Etc.
So - what makes her so different to a soldier who has been shot.Very little publicity like this for him. He has ben sent there and was killed, She was a volunteer.
I just don't understand it.

1) civi
2) woman
3) it makes a better story for the tossers in charge of the media and gets the sympathy vote
I would'nt agree with your first point but would with point 2 and 3. I think that you will find that the media coverage over the death of Cpl Sarah Bryant in Afghanistan was as big as this ... it is human nature to report more intensely on the death of a female.

Being a mere civvy doesn't cut it with the press; last October Craig Appleby died whilst clearing cluster munitions in Lebanon and he received no more media interest than if he had been a male soldier killed.
 
#13
k13eod said:
Gren said:
OldRedCap said:
OK - she was an aid worker, A woman. Working in Iraq. Now she is dead after being shot whilst going about her business.
Her story has been on all the news. Now it is the lead story on BBC TV 6 o'clock news. Interviews with those who news her. Etc Etc.
So - what makes her so different to a soldier who has been shot.Very little publicity like this for him. He has ben sent there and was killed, She was a volunteer.
I just don't understand it.

1) civi
2) woman
3) it makes a better story for the tossers in charge of the media and gets the sympathy vote
I would'nt agree with your first point but would with point 2 and 3. I think that you will find that the media coverage over the death of Cpl Sarah Bryant in Afghanistan was as big as this ... it is human nature to report more intensely on the death of a female.

Being a mere civvy doesn't cut it with the press; last October Craig Appleby died whilst clearing cluster munitions in Lebanon and he received no more media interest than if he had been a male soldier killed.
Had he been a she, then it may well have been different!

I meant my list a culmination, not just an individual list of reasons, my apologies for not making that bit clear.
 
#14
ABrighter2006 said:
ORC - agreed with the lack of coverage - what makes this more "newsworthy" is open to debate.

Female / NGO / Christian NGO / Kabul (easier to cover) / British aid worker / unarmed (not security forces) / helping disabled children / etc.

There are enough there to bring this to the headlines.

Sadly, the death in service of mil pers, is such a regular happening, that the wider public, become numb to it happening. She "appears" a complete innocent (will keep the OPSEC angles out of this) to most readers, so there's plenty for Joe Public to jump on the outrage bus with.

Might not be "right" but, if it bleeds it leads, is only useful in the first instance. Soldiers losing blood (and their lives) in Afghanistan is simply not that interesting to the News Editors anymore, it happens so often.
She was there in a humanitarian capacity, she was murdered for political reasons; this has little to do with religion despite the claims by terry. I think a guy on the news summed it up well this morning. If all the humanitarian aid ceases in Afghanistan all that is left are the soldiers, all soldiers represent is war - that is exactly what the Taliban want, they certainly don't want the people on the streets warming to western aid.

This is about preventing the people of Afghanistan from appreciating the benefits our presence brings and attempting to scare off those that would help, killing an unarmed christian woman from a distance by pumping her full of bullets is an easy way of achieving their aims; cowardly most certainly but I'm sure the brave "soldier" who did this feels he is fighting for "the cause" (which is of course more to do with money than an ideology though he doesn't realise it because he is being used by some fat c*nt smoking a big fat cigar and drinking champagne by the pool)

It's an important event because it indicates a possible tactical change in the conflict, hence why it's all over the news.
 
#15
Good point Chieftiff - not disimilar from the death of Margaret Hussein of Care International in Baghdad. Albeit, the circumstances are different, it sends a clear message to the aid community.
 

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