Ten journalists including BBC reporter and Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer were among dozens killed in multiple attacks across Afghanistan on Monday, in the bloodiest day for Afghan media since 2001.
Two suicide attacks in Kabul killed at least 25 people including nine journalists, in what Reporters Without Borders said was the most lethal single attack on Afghan media since the fall of the Taliban regime in the war-torn country.
Today’s violence against journalists did not end in Kabul. At around 4 p.m. local time, a reporter for the BBC’s Pashto language service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the eastern Khost province.
The journalists who were killed in today’s attacks include Shah Marai of AFP, Ahmad Shah of BBC, Tolo News cameraman Yar Mohammad Tokhi, three Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe) journalists (Ebadollah Hananzai, Sabawon Kaker and Maharam Durani), 1TV reporter Ghazi Rasooli and cameraman Nawruz Ali Rajabi, Mashal TV reporter Salim Talash and Mashal TV cameraman Ali Salimi.
All the journalists were mostly under 30 years old.
- Shah Marai — who was buried later Monday — joined AFP as a driver in 1996, the year the Taliban seized power, and began taking pictures on the side, covering stories including the US invasion in 2001. In 2002 he became a full-time photo stringer, rising through the ranks to become the chief photographer in the bureau.
- Ahmad Shah, 29, had worked for the BBC’s Afghan service for more than a year. Mr. Shah was described as a “highly capable journalist who was a respected and popular member of the team”.
- Ghazi Rasooli – who was born in Parwan province, had worked for 1TV for more than four years. He had studied journalism faculty at Kabul University.
- Nawruz Ali, 26, had worked for five years as a cameraman for media including a year for 1TV.
- Ebadollah Hananzai – was an anchor of Karwan Zahr program in Radio Azadi and had studied journalism faculty of Kabul University. He had worked for Radio Azadi for about four years.
- Maharam Durani – was a student of Islamic studies faculty of Kabul University and had recently started working as a reporter at Radio Azadi.
- Sabawon Kaker – had worked as a cameraman for many years. He was critically injured in today’s attack and later died in Wazir Mohammad Akbar hospital in Kabul.
- Yar Mohammad Tokhi – had served as cameraman for many years in Tolo News. He was managing the camera unit of the media.
- Salim Talash – had studied journalism in NAI – a media advocacy organization in Afghanistan. He had worked for Mashal TV as a reporter for about one year.
- Salim Salimi – a week earlier before his death had started working as a cameraman for Mashal TV.
This comes as Afghanistan is ranked 118th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.