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10 Journalists among Dozens Killed in Multiple Attacks in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: April 30, 2018)

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.

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Afghanistan Coronavirus updates: 787 new cases, total 18,054

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

The Ministry of Public health confirmed Thursday that 787 people were tested positive for the Coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

According to the ministry, the cases have been registered as follow: Kabul 323, Herat 110, Kandahar 65, Balkh 34, Paktia 36, Nangarhar 54, Badghis 48, Khost 40, Paktika 32, Nimroz 18, Kunar 15, Takhar 8, Bamyan 2, Logar 1, and Parwan 1.

It brings the total affected to 18,054 in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, six people have died of the virus in the past 24 hours and 63 people have recovered and fully discharged for the hospital, the health ministry added.

So far, 300 people have died of COVID-19 while 1,585 others have recovered from the virus.

It comes as, on Wednesday, Fahim Qarluq the district governor for Qala-e-Zal and General Rashid Bashir, Police Chief of the province have died from COVID-19 on Wednesday morning.

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Gov’t officials don’t follow health guidelines, social distancing

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The failure to comply with health guidelines and social distancing in gatherings by a number of high-ranking government officials has been criticized.

Citizens blame officials for being negligent to the Coronavirus, saying that their behavior is a sign of the government’s reluctance in the fight against the virus.

In the latest instance, the chairman of the High Reconciliation Council amongst other officials attended a ceremony without abiding by the health guidelines and/or social distancing.

That is, Salem Izadiar’s commemoration ceremony with the presence of high-ranked government officials and citizens, including high-ranking officials – without keeping any of the health guidelines in mind, is considered to be one of the main causes of Coronavirus outbreak.

Additionally, the Minister of Interior Affairs, who is considered as one of the key officials in the fight against Coronavirus, also attended a meeting in Baghlan, not taking into account any social distancing and/or health measures.

It is worth mentioning that recently Rashid Bashir, the police chief of Kunduz province, and Fahim Qarluq, the governor of Qala-e-Zal district the province, died of the virus.

The Ministry of Public Health has frequently expressed concerns over social non-compliance with health guidelines and its dire consequences.

On the other hand, the death toll from the virus has increased; however, only a part of the fatalities are officially recorded, but a larger proportion of Covid-19 positive or suspicious deaths are, for some reason, not reported at all.

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Dr. Ayaz Niazi’s assassination triggers queries

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The assassination of Dr. Ayaz Niazi, imam of the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque, has raised questions and reactions.

Dr. Niazi became the target of an IED explosion at the mosque yesterday evening while preparing for the evening prayer.

He died at the hospital of deadly injuries.

A number of military experts have called yesterday’s incident a ‘political terrorist attack’ and blamed the security agencies for not preventing such attacks in Kabul.

Intelligence experts attribute the weakness in the intelligence agencies that leads to such horrific attacks.

President Ghani personally visited the Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital today and, while praying for the deceased and offering condolences to his family, he ordered security agencies to follow up on the incident.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has announced the formation of a delegation to investigate the incident and arrest its perpetrators.

About Dr. Ayaz Niazi:

Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was 56 years old and was born in Yamgan district of Badakhshan province. At the age of twelve, he learned the holy Quran by heart. After high school, he joined Al-Azhar University in Egypt and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Islamic Economics. Also, he had a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Dr. Niazi served as a professor at the Faculty of Sharia at Kabul University and as imam at the Mohammad Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.

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