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UN staffer 'killed by Afghan forces, not Taliban': report

world Updated: Apr 16, 2010 20:37 IST

A member of the United Nations staff who died during a suicide attack in Kabul in October 2009 was shot by Afghan security forces, not killed by Taliban fighters, a German magazine said on Friday.

Stern magazine cited a preliminary report into the suicide attack -- during which eight died, plus the three gunmen -- conducted by a UN commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

"The preliminary conclusions of the mission's investigation raised the disturbing possibility that a specific UN staff member may have died due to 'friendly fire', caused directly by responding Afghan security personnel," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told Stern's website.

According to the probe, the staffer, Louis Maxwell, managed to escape from the UN guesthouse after Taliban gunmen sprayed it with bullets and then blew themselves up.

Fleeing onto the streets, he was then shot, "most likely by Afghan forces," Stern said, adding that an amateur video it had obtained backed up this version of events.

The timing of the attack aroused suspicions, Stern said, as it came shortly before the scheduled second round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan. The UN had demanded changes to voting procedures to prevent fraud.

In the wake of the attack, Afghan authorities said Maxwell had been killed by the Taliban militia.