A double suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Monday killed more than 25 people, including nine journalists, and injured many more. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The first bombing occurred around 8 a.m. local time in the Shashdarak area close to several government institutions and the NATO headquarters in the country. A second suicide bomber, pretending to be a reporter, blew himself up 20 minutes later, amongst journalists who had gathered to report on the first attack.
The journalists killed and wounded in the attack worked for both national and international media organizations. Among them was Shah Marai, a well-known photojournalist who worked for Agence France-Presse (AFP). The other journalists killed in the attack were Ebadullah Hananzai and Sabawoon Kakar of Radio Free Europe; Yar Mohammad Tokhi, a cameraman for Tolonews; Ghazi Rasooli, a 1TV reporter; Nowrooz Rajabj, a 1TV cameraman; Saleem Talash, a reporter for Mashal TV; Ali Salimi, a Mashal TV cameraman; and Mahram Durani, a journalist with Shamsad TV.
IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi expressed outrage over the attacks.
“We are horrified by this apparently targeted attack on a group of brave journalists who rushed to do their job of informing the public”, she said. “This is one of the harrowing events in the recent history of journalism.”
She added: “Today’s events, while extreme, are a reminder that journalists working in countries like Afghanistan are regularly threatened, attacked and tortured by both state and non-state actors. The attack in Kabul underscores the risks that journalists take to report accurately from conflict zones.”
This year alone, 16 journalists have lost their lives so far reporting from conflict zones, including a BBC reporter who was also killed on Monday in Afghanistan. Ahmed Shah, 29, was reportedly gunned down in Khost province barely a few hours after the suicide bombings in Kabul.
Last week, an Afghan journalist was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was driving to work in Kandahar. Earlier this month, two journalists were shot dead by Israeli snipers while covering protests in the Gaza Strip.