KABUL: A Pakistani engineer working for Louis Berger in Afghanistan was killed Dec. 8, less than 48 hours after two Indian engineers working for the company were kidnapped on the notorious Kabul-Kandahar highway. According to unconfirmed reports, a second Pakistani engineer was also critically wounded in the same incident.


Anwar Shah, 38, was allegedly killed by police who mistakenly opened fired on his vehicle when he failed to stop at a checkpoint in Ghazni province. Police had reportedly set up a roadblock as part of a drug crackdown. This latest killing follows a series of murders, ambushes and kidnappings on what many say is the most dangerous construction project in the world.

An ENR reporter flew in a chopper over the entire length of the project Dec. 9, less than 24 hours after the attack. With just one week until the first phase of the work is scheduled for completion, the project has been thrown into to turmoil by the deepening security crisis.

No construction work was visible on the road as officials with the prime contractor, Fairfield, N.J.-based Louis Berger Group Inc., issued fresh warnings to staff to remain in their compounds and to avoid travel without an armed escort. A Louis Berger spokesman said: “Two Pakistani engineers were wounded and taken
to hospital where one of them later died. Staff have been told not to leave their camps without an escort.”

The two Pakistani engineers had been working for Louis Berger sub-contractor Bahar, on the USAID-funded schools and clinics program which is being managed by the contractor in tandem with the reconstruction of the highway.

Two Indian engineers kidnapped by suspected Taliban militia on Dec. 7 are still being held.