Fifth journalist to be killed in two months in Afghanistan violence

Bismillah Adel

Bismillah Adel Aimaq (Reporters Without Borders)

KABUL: An Afghan journalist has been shot dead in an attack by gunmen in the central province of Ghor.

Bismillah Adil Aimaq, the editor-in-chief of a local radio station, is the fifth journalist to be killed in the war-ravaged country in the past two months, a provincial spokesman said.

According to reports, Bismillah was on the road near Feroz Koh, the provincial capital of Ghor, returning home to the city after visiting his family in a village nearby, when gunmen opened fire at the vehicle.

Others in the car, including Aimaq’s brother, were unharmed, the provincial governor’s spokesman, Arif Abir, said.

Last week, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the United Nations to take concrete measures to protect media personnel in Afghanistan following the targeted murder of a journalist.

Rahmatollah Nekzad, who had worked for international media including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera since 2003, was gunned down at dawn near his home in Ghazni, the capital of the central province of the same name, RSF reported.

According to reports, Rahmatollah, 50, the father of six children, was shot three times in the head by his unidentified killers who used a pistol with silencer.

On December 10, Malalai Maiwand, 30, was shot by two gunmen while on her way to her job at the privately-owned Enekaas TV channel in the eastern city of Jalalabad. They also killed her driver, Taher Khan, RSF said.

Mohammad Aliyas Dayee, a journalist with the Pashto-language service of Radio Azadi, the Afghan branch Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was killed by a bomb placed under his car in Lashkargah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand, on November 12.

In 2020, eight journalists and media workers were killed and 19 others injured in 112 cases of violence against journalists across Afghanistan, the Center of Afghan Journalists said.

The Center said in a statement that the assassinated media workers included presenters, reporters, cameramen, technicians and service members.

Another 19 reporters and media workers were injured in criminal incidents and terrorist attacks in different provinces.

It said that 45 journalists were threatened, 11 physically attacked, six were detained, six kidnapped and four ones were attacked by armed men in the past 12 months.

According to the statement, Daesh terrorist group was charged for killing of two news anchors, one technician and one service member. Taliban were accused of killing of one reporter and one cameraman while unknown gunmen have been suspected of killing of two presenters.

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