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U.N. Worker Slain in Afghanistan

November 17, 2003|From Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — A French woman was killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting in an Afghan bazaar, becoming the first U.N. foreign aid worker to be slain in the country since the fall of the Taliban regime two years ago. Police identified the captured assailants as Taliban militants.

Other foreign aid workers, including employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been slain in Afghanistan, but the killing of 29-year-old Bettina Goislard in her clearly marked U.N. vehicle by two men on a motorcycle was the latest indication that escalating Taliban attacks are targeting the United Nations.

The agency has witnessed a spate of attacks in the last week: A remote-controlled bomb exploded Sunday near a U.N. vehicle carrying three Afghan U.N. employees in the eastern province of Paktia, but they escaped injury, officials said. On Tuesday, a car bomb exploded outside U.N. offices in the southern city of Kandahar, injuring two people, including a U.N. security guard. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the car bomb.

Goislard worked with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Ghazni province, and was traveling in the provincial capital in a white agency vehicle when she was shot.

Police opened fire on the assailants, wounding one and capturing them both. Ghazni is 125 miles southwest of Kabul.

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