I posted a deal about the brave actions of Louis when this originally happened and hoped that the UN would recognize his bravery and sacrifice with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal. Now that this story came out, this adds even more tragedy to the mix. Imagine surviving all of that fighting, and then getting executed by the so called ‘police’? Perhaps these were not police at all, and were just the enemy dressed like the police? This doesn’t sound like friendly fire to me. Who knows and I certainly hope the UN continues the investigation on this. –Matt
A United Nations bodyguard who saved 17 colleagues by holding back Taliban fighters who stormed a guesthouse was minutes later executed by Afghan police, according to a video which has been seen by officials.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul17 Apr 2010
Louis Maxwell, a UN security officer from the United States, was among five international UN workers who died in the early morning October 28 attack in Kabul.
Mr Maxwell climbed onto a roof of the privately-run Bakhtar guesthouse and held the suicide attackers at bay with an assault rifle so colleagues could escape.
Until now Mr Maxwell was believed to have been killed in the attack, along with another UN security guard, Laurance Mefful of Ghana, but his actions were credited with saving 17 lives.
Two Afghan guards and an Afghan civilian also died in the attack.
However an amateur video of the attack seen by UN officials and Stern magazine now appears to show Mr Maxwell being shot repeatedly at close range by Afghan police responding to the attack.
The United Nations said an investigation had raised “the disturbing possibility” Mr Maxwell had died from “friendly fire”.
One official who had seen the video said “it looks like an execution”.
Mr Maxwell came down from the roof after the attack and was shot minutes later officials said.
The video shows Mr Maxwell wounded in a group of Afghan police when a single shot is fired, Stern reported.
He screams and collapses to the ground. None of the police reacts.
Three more shots are fired, then a policeman takes Mr Maxwell’s weapon from next to his corpse and leaves.
The motivation for the shooting is unclear from the video and an official said it was possible police had mistaken Mr Maxwell, an African American, for a foreign terrorist.
Stern reported another theory was that the Afghan police officer wanted to steal his sophisticated assault rifle.
The UN board of inquiry into the attack is due to report soon and findings will be shared with the Afghan authorities.
Martin Nesirsky, a UN spokesman said: “If warranted we will ask for a thorough investigation surrounding the death of this UN employee and the circumstances of the deaths of the other UN employees.”
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, demanded to know after the attack why the Afghan security forces had taken more than an hour to respond to calls for help.
After the assault the UN temporarily withdrew half its international staff and closed more than 90 guesthouses used by employees.
Six months later, the international UN presence in Afghanistan remains several hundred fewer than before the attack.
The guesthouse had been housing UN election workers and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was provoked by UN support for the presidential elections.