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Gunmen attack Afghanistan Times’ editor-in-chief

AT-KABUL: Unidentified gunmen harassed, assaulted and snatched car, laptop and cell phones of the Afghanistan Times’ editor-in-chief, Abdul Saboor Sarir, in the highly fortified Afghan capital on late Sunday night (9th October).

The unknown men, driving a Helix pick up, have stopped the editor-in-chief of the Kabul-based English newspaper at gunpoint on Sunday around 9:00 pm, and took his vehicle, laptop and cell phones after beating him.

The incident occurred in Khwaja Bughra area of Kabul City when Sarir was on way to home from office. The area which is in the 15th Police District is only 3.5 kilometers away from Ministry of Interior.

Abdul Saboor Sarir sustained head injuries in the attack. Fortunately, he is in stable condition. “I was on my way to home when three gunmen stopped me. They hit me with gun buts. They told my brother that they would kill him if he resisted or inform the police,” Sarir said.

Police has launched investigation in to the attack. However, it is not the first time that Mr. Sarir came under attack. He was repeatedly threatened by different groups of dire consequences. Five months ago, unknown people tried to abduct him in the fourth police district when a police vehicle appeared on the scene and the kidnappers escaped.

After investigation of police, it will become clear that whether the gunmen were carjackers or those who threatened him regularly. But, Sarir in the past repeatedly requested the law enforcement agencies for security as this year different militant groups issued death threats to him.

Condemning the incident, journalists urged the government to pursue the case seriously and arrest the culprits. They also asked the relevant authorities to provide security to the independent media organizations.

Terrorists on different occasions warned independent media organizations to change their policies. Threats, harassment and attacks against journalists working for independent local media outlets have turned uglier.

This year in January, a suicide bomber, riding an explosive-filled car, targeted a mini-bus of TOLO TV in the capital city, Kabul. At least eight people were killed and 28 others injured.

It is worth mention that in June 2016, Nai—an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, said that cases of violence against journalists has increased in the country. In June, 10 cases of violence against journalists were registered.

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