Militancy will not deter freedom of press; 9 journalists among 25 martyred in Kabul twin blasts
By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: At least 25 people including nine journalists were killed and 49 others wounded following two suicide bombings in the diplomatic area of Kabul city on Monday morning, according to officials.
“A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden bike in Shashdarak vicinity early in the morning, leaving eight people killed and wounded,” said Hashmat Stanikzai,Kabul Police spokesperson. “Thirty minutes after the first attack, another suicide bomber blew himself up among spectating people and some journalists who came to report on the first attack,” added Stanikzai. He confirmed that totally 25 people including nine reporters and four cops lost their lives and 49 others sustained injuries in both the bombings.
“The first suicide attacker rolling a motorcycle laden with explosives struck near a compound of security forces in Shashdarak precinct of Kabul city, killing four people and injuring seven others,” said Najib Danish, spokesperson to the interior ministry. And the second attack took place in the vicinity of the first attack beyond security fences, where some journalists were reporting on the first suicide bombing, added Danish.
Spokesperson to the health ministry, Wahid Majroh, said that 25 people including a woman were killed and 42 more including two women and three children wounded.
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee corroborated the account of death of eight journalists and wounding ofsix others in the twin blasts. Violence against journalists has not seen a decline since the past years. Some 20 journalists and media staff have been killed and 61 others wounded last year in Afghanistan, according to reports. Meanwhile, a journalist working for BBC News was shot and killed on Monday in eastern Khost province.
“Killing of journalists is a war crime and the United Nations Security Council should recognize that as such,” said Rahimullah Samandar, Chief of Freelance Journalists Association.
Denouncing the Monday’s terrorist attacks, Hanif Atmar, National Security Adviser to the Presidentwarned that such attacks will not choke press freedom and peoples’ voices.
“Never such attacks will deter the journalist community,” Chief of NAI, Sidiqullah Tawidi said. “Shah Marai, AFP photographer, Yar Mohammad Tokhi, ToloNews cameraman, Salim Talash, Mashal TV reporter, Ali Salimi, Mashal TV cameraman, Ghazi Rasouli, 1TV reporter, Nowruz Ali, 1TV cameraman, Ebadullah Alamzai and Sabawoon Kakar, Azadi Radio reporters, and Moharam Durani, a journalist were the journalists martyred in the second terrorist attack,” he reckoned.
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