Nicola Rounce has worked in many troubled areas.
Aid worker Nicola Rounce - a project manager who has
lived in some of the world's most dangerous places - has
escaped a murderous attack in Afghanistan.
Rounce, known as Nicky, works with the International
Organisation for Migration and has spent time in Syria, Sri
Lanka and tsunami-ravaged Sumatra.
One of her relatives said Rounce had dual New Zealand and
It was believed Rounce's mother was a New Zealander who
emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1968. Rounce moved to
Waiheke Island in 2012, according to her Facebook page.
"She's still in Kabul," a relative in England told the Herald
on Sunday yesterday. "She went through it all. She's fine."
An employee at Kabul's Serena Hotel, where the attack
happened, said Rounce was one of two Kiwis staying at the
He said the other was a man who worked for the United
Conflicting reports emerged from the carnage, for which the
Taliban claimed responsibility. Initially, local authorities
said a New Zealand woman was among the nine people killed.
But other sources stated a New Zealand woman escaped
unharmed, and was debriefed at the New Zealand embassy in
"Most of the guests have left the hotel because of this
incident that took place last night. It was very dangerous,"
a hotel employee said yesterday.
Kiwi development consultant Dr David Lupton said security at
the hotel was standard for the Afghanistan capital.
"The hotel I stayed at in Kabul was similar. On the road all
you see is a high concrete wall and a guard box," he said,
recalling a visit in late 2011.
"You go in through an airline-style security set-up and then
through a concrete labyrinth."
In Thursday's attack, four teenage gunmen entered the hotel,
firing randomly at guests. After a three-hour stand-off,
security forces killed the terrorists at 11.30pm Kabul time.
Rounce has battled poverty and worked hard to improve living
She contributed to a sustainable finance project ahead of the
2002 United Nations Earth Summit. In 2007, she was helping
tsunami-damaged Indonesia by finding suitable homes for 2500
families in Aceh, Sumatra, the Canberra Times said.
- John Weekes, Herald on Sunday