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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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Logar police district chief killed in shooting

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(Last Updated On: May 10, 2021)

An Afghan security official was killed in an attack by unknown armed men in eastern Logar province on Monday, sources said.

Hasibullah Stanekzai, Head of the Provincial Council told Ariana News that Shahpor Ahmadzai, police chief for PD1 of Logar, was gunned down by unknown armed men in the provincial capital Pul-e-Alam city.

The incident took place at Shahidan square in the city on Monday evening.

Ahmadzai, who was a former spokesman for Logar police, died in hospital from gunshot wounds sustained in the attack, Stanekzai said.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Amnesty International say ‘brutal crimes’ highlight govt failures

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(Last Updated On: May 10, 2021)

Responding to the deadly bombing of Sayed-ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul on Saturday afternoon and the Zabul bus bombing on Sunday night, Amnesty International said Monday these two incidents must serve as a wake up call to the world.

Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said: “The appalling scenes in West Kabul and Zabul Province must serve as a wake-up call to the world.

Officials confirmed Monday that 85 people were killed in the school bombing on Saturday and another 11 were killed in a IED explosion in Zabul on Saturday night.

“These unspeakable crimes brutally highlight the failure of authorities to protect civilians, particularly girls and minority groups. People are being slaughtered on a weekly basis and the bloodshed shows no sign of letting up,” Hamidi said.

“Now is not the time for the international community to turn its back on Afghanistan,” she said.

“Targeting civilians, especially children and schools, is a war crime and violation of international humanitarian law. All parties to the peace negotiations must focus their utmost efforts on protecting civilians, upholding human rights for all, and ending impunity for these crimes.”

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Pakistan’s Bajwa meets with Ghani in Kabul: Sources tell Reuters

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(Last Updated On: May 10, 2021)

Pakistani Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders in Kabul on Monday, sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The media wing of Pakistan’s military did not immediately respond to a request for comment or confirm the visit.

According to Reuters, it was not immediately clear what was discussed during the meeting.

Neighbouring Pakistan is regarded as a key player in the Afghan peace process. In the past Islamabad has been accused of harbouring the Taliban but in recent years Washington and other Western powers have acknowledged its efforts to push the militant group to take part in peace talks.

Bajwa on Monday also met Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff General Nicholas Patrick Carter for talks on Afghan peacemaking, according to a statement from Pakistan’s military media wing. The venue of the meeting was not given.

In recent weeks, Taliban and diplomatic sources told Reuters, Pakistan has been negotiating with insurgents to try and get them to commit to a ceasefire, agree to an extension of the U.S.-Taliban agreement which stipulated forces should withdraw by May, and to continue to take part in peace talks at a planned conference in Turkey.

Violence has risen starkly in Afghanistan in recent weeks with the Taliban launching attacks throughout the country.

The Taliban announced on Sunday night that they would commit to a three-day ceasefire for the Islamic religious holiday of Eid later this week.

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