An Afghan employee of the U.S. government shot and killed one American and wounded a second Sunday night in a facility attached to the U.S. Embassy that is believed to be used by the CIA. An embassy spokesman said the shooter acted alone and have not established a motive, and reportedly shot indiscriminately and did not specifically target the victim. The gunman was shot and killed by security personnel on the scene.
Though not directly linked to recent attacks, the shooting comes days after former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was leading a peace commission, was assassinated and two weeks after an attack on NATO headquarters and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. American officials have been concerned about insurgents posing as Afghan security forces gaining access to U.S. and NATO troops to launch attacks.
Freed Hikers Blast ‘Lies and False Hope’ in Prison
Hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, freed after being held for two years in Iran, said they lived in “a world of lies and false hope” after being detained while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border and subsequently charged with spying. At a news conference in New York, Fattal said “the only reason we have been held hostage is because we are American.”
Bauer said they did not know if they crossed the border or not, but that it wasn’t the real reason for their detention regardless.
Sarah Shourd, Bauer’s fiancee, was held and released a year ago. She told CNN at the time that the screams she heard in Tehran’s Evin Prison “will always be with me.”
“Not being able to help another human being, being completely impotent and unable to do anything to ease their suffering, is something I’ll never forget,” Shourd said.
Kenyan Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai Dies
Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to be given the Nobel Peace Prize, has died at the age of 71 while being treated for cancer. Maathai, who founded the Green Belt Movement, which is responsible for planting up to 30 million trees, received the prize in 2004 for her efforts to promote conservation and women’s rights.
She was also active in pushing for government reforms, and in 2008 was tear-gassed during a protest against President Mwai Kibaki’s plan to add to the number of ministers in his cabinet.
In a statement, the Green Belt Movement said:
“Professor Maathai’s departure is untimely and a very great loss to all who knew her — as a mother, relative, co-worker, colleague, role model, and heroine; or who admired her determination to make the world a more peaceful, healthier, and better place.”
Pro-Democracy Protesters Hold Rare Demonstration in Myanmar
Marchers gathered Monday for a prayer vigil at the Sule pagoda in Yangon in a largely peaceful gathering, four years after large-scale protests tested the country’s repressive military junta, which has claimed it is softening its stance toward such gatherings. According to the Associated Press:
“A nominally civilian but army-backed government that took power earlier this year from a decades-long ruling junta has said it will liberalize politics, but it still continues to hold about 2,000 political prisoners.”
In September of 2006, a protest movement led by Buddhist monks drew as many as 100,000 demonstrators, but was brutally crushed by the government. The unrest was dubbed the “Saffron Revolution,” a reference to the color of the monks’ robes.