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US, UN and NATO vow support for Afghan media

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The United States and the United Nations on Monday condemned the ghastly terrorist attack in Kabul that killed 29 people, including nine journalists.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a strongly-worded statement, denounced the assault as senseless and barbaric, extending condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

“The United States, along with our Afghan and international partners, is committed to defeating ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for this attack,” Pompeo said.

“We stand with the people, the independent media and government of Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the Afghan people’s efforts to achieve peace, security and democracy for their country,” he added.

The independent media was a cornerstone of democracy and despite the attack, the vibrant media landscape in Afghanistan would endure, in large part, the secretary hoped.

He commended the journalists and media professionals killed in the bombing, saying their courageous and steadfast work helped lay the foundation for Afghanistan’s thriving and resilient media.

The international community’s commitment to the Afghan people and a lasting peace in that country would not be shaken by such assaults, Pompeo added.

Outraged by the series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

In a statement, the secretary-general’s spokesperson said: “The deliberate targeting of journalists in the attack highlights once again the risks media professionals face in carrying out their essential work. Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to justice,” the UN statement said.

Meanwhile, the NATO chief also voices his shock over the deadly assaults in Kabul and Kandahar.

Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “Horrified by news of the attacks… Children killed, journalists targeted, US and Afghan soldiers killed and Romanian soldiers wounded.”

He saw no justification for these attacks, saying the alliance stood firm in its commitment to support Afghanistan towards peace and security.

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