Afghan Authorities Condemns Murder of Nine Journalists in Double Attack

Sergio Cunningham
May 1, 2018

Afghan security forces are seen at the site of the second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018.

Ten journalists were killed in Afghanistan on Monday, including 9 reporters and photographers who died in a suicide bomb attack in the capital Kabul and a journalist working for the Afghan language service of the BBC who was shot dead in the eastern city of Khost.

A bombing that targeted a voter registration centre in Kabul killed 60 people last week.

Hours later, 11 students of a madrassa were killed and 17 people, including five Romanian soldiers, were injured in a suicide attack aimed at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy in Kandahar province.

"These attacks caused untold human suffering to Afghan families", said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the top United Nations official in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of the attack, journalists rushed to the scene. There was no claim of responsibility for the bloodbath in Kandahar, a former stronghold of the Taliban.

Like the more-well-established Taliban, the IS affiliate is committed to overthrowing the USA -backed government and imposing a harsh form of Islamic rule.

At least 30 people were killed as two suicide bombers of ISIS exploded themselves in quick succession in the Afghan capital on Monday.

At least 45 people were wounded in the twin attacks, according to Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, who also added that four policemen were among those killed. "We salute the incredible bravery of these journalists, while noting the cynicism and cruelty of a suicide bomber pretending to be a media worker to target the press".

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"We are confident that the resolve of fearless Afghan people to defeat terrorism can not be weakened by such cowardly attacks", he added.

Afghanistan was already considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world for journalists, with at least 20 killed past year. Earlier on April 25, Kabul News journalist Abdul Manan Arghand was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Kandahar.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the separate attack on BBC Pashto reporter Ahmad Shah, though the Taliban said it was not behind the shooting, according to TOLO News.

Agence France-Presse said the news agency's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among those killed.

A Reuters photographer was slightly hurt by shrapnel.

"Actions like this one only strengthen our steadfast commitment to the people of Afghanistan", said General John Nicholson, the commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

They were waiting near the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, when the second explosion went off just as people were entering the government office. That attack was preceded by a vehicle bombing in southern Afghanistan in which at least 13 people were killed and 35 others injured.

Nine were killed and several others were injured.

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