Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2008 - Motive Confirmed: Carsten Thomassen

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2009
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2008 - Motive Confirmed: Carsten Thomassen, January 2009, available at: [accessed 21 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

January 15, 2008, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Thomassen, a 38-year-old Norwegian who worked for the Oslo daily Dagbladet, was among eight people who died in a coordinated suicide bomb attack at Kabul's Serena Hotel, a gathering place for much of the country's expatriate community.

The attack came during a visit by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who was in the hotel but was uninjured. Four hotel guards, a U.S. national, an Afghan guest, and a Philippine spa director also died in the attack, according to news reports. Two of the bombers died as well.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Støre was the intended target. The Norwegian government held that Støre was not specifically targeted and that the attack was aimed at the country's foreign community at large. About 500 Norwegian troops were taking part in NATO-led forces in Afghanistan at the time.

The day after the attack, Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh told a press conference that three Taliban militants wearing suicide jackets filled with explosives ran onto the hotel grounds. The jacket of one assailant exploded after he was shot by a hotel guard outside the building. A second assailant detonated his explosives inside the hotel; the third was arrested later.

Job:Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Politics, War
Local or Foreign:Foreign
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Political Group
Taken Captive:No


Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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