- “The target of the blast was the vehicle of Khurshid private TV,” the ministry said in a statement.
- "Our colleagues Mir Wahed Shah, an economic reporter and Shafiq Amiri, an employee in the technical department, were martyred in the incident."
- Last year in August, a similar attack claimed the lives of two employees of Khurshid TV, and left two others injured.
An attack on a minibus that carried the employees of a local TV station in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, left a journalist and another employee dead. The authorities said the victims, who were employees of Khurshid TV, were traveling in the minibus when an improvised explosive device attached to the vehicle exploded.
The interior ministry added that the minibus was a target for the attack. “The target of the blast was the vehicle of Khurshid private TV,” the ministry said in a statement. The officials added that six more people were injured in the attack.
The media group was celebrating its eighth anniversary on Saturday, and it confirmed the attack. “Our colleagues Mir Wahed Shah, an economic reporter and Shafiq Amiri, an employee in the technical department, were martyred in the incident,’’ said Mohammad Rafi Rafiq Sediqi, the chief executive of the Khurshid TV station.
A media monitoring group based in Kabul, the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, condemned the bombing, and called on the authorities to ensure justice for the departed souls.
The director of the Afghan government media and information center Feroz Bashari condemned the attack, and said that the government was investigating the incident. “Attack on journalists is attack on freedom of speech and open media. This cannot be justified at all,” Bashari tweeted.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack later on Saturday according to the SITE Intelligence group. The IS said it detonated the improvised explosive device, adding that the TV station was supportive of the apostate Afghan government. The attack comes a few days after the end of a temporary cease-fire, which was declared due to the Eid al-Fitr holiday. It ended on Tuesday.
Last year in August, a similar attack claimed the lives of two employees of Khurshid TV, and left two others injured. The IS and Taliban are active militant groups that have, on numerous occasions, plotted attacks on journalists in the country.
In 2016, a suicide bomber with an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus that was transporting employees of a privately-owned TV station. TOLO is also the country’s largest media outlet. The blast killed seven journalists. While claiming responsibility for the attack, the Taliban accused the television station of running a propaganda campaign against the group.
Afghanistan is one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists. They face a lot of risks in trying to cover the country’s long conflict, and they are also targeted for doing their jobs. Most of the time, the journalists innocently end up paying the price on behalf of the media houses they work for.
The country was named the deadliest country for journalists by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2018. RSF reported that a total of 15 journalists and media workers were killed in a series of bombings, and in one of them, nine journalists were killed in a single day.