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Gunmen attack Afghanistan Times’ Reporters

AT-KABUL: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of Afghanistan Times reporters, Hekmatullah Aziz, Fahim Habibi, Shoaib Shirzai and their driver on Qargha Street in Kabul on Monday night (December 14th, 2020).

On Monday at around 7:30 p.m., four unidentified individuals riding on motorbikes tried to stop the reporter’s vehicle and subsequently start firing at their car in Kabul near Qargha, injuring Mr. Aziz.

Aziz, Shirzai and Habibi were heading back home from Mola Ezat city, which is situated near Qargha Dam and five kilometers from the capital, when the tragedy happened.

In the assault, Hekmatullah Aziz suffered chin injuries, but Fahim Habibi, Shoaib Shiarzai and their driver are safe and well. They are stable, which is a blessing. “When two motorcyclists started firing at our car, we were on our way home,” Gunmen were shouting stop and stop, but we did not care and urged the driver to continue driving,” Aziz claimed. “Fortunately, they couldn’t stop us.”

Numerous factions repeatedly issued dire threats against Mr. Aziz. He had received a death threat over the phone from an unidentified person if he continued to write for the Afghanistan Times.

It will be obvious during the police investigation if the shooters were carjackers or those who often threatened them.

Journalists denounced the tragedy and urged the government to investigate it thoroughly and apprehend the offenders. Additionally, they requested that security be provided for the independent media groups by the pertinent authorities.

Terrorists have issued several threats urging independent media outlets to alter their editorial practices. For independent local media outlets, threats, intimidation, and attacks on journalists soar recently.

In targeted strikes in Afghanistan this year, at least 10 journalists died, and four more are reportedly dead. The majority of the murders, which are almost always committed by anonymous gunmen, have not been looked into. Many others have suffered injuries, and because of their profession, journalists frequently face threats, intimidation, and harassment. Thus some journalists are leaving the country due to such incidents and even some journalist claim that there are “hit lists” for chasing and targeting the media outlet staff.

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