Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Attack on Journalists

  • The attack was later condemned by the United States, the European Union, and NATO.
  • The attack on May 30 was the second attack in a year in which employees of the Afghan broadcaster were affected.
  • In 2016, a bus of the TOLO TV station was subjected to a bomb attack that caused seven deaths.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosive attack that hit a minibus Saturday, in which a troupe of 15 people of the Afghan broadcaster, Khurshid TV, were traveling in Kabul. Two people were killed— a journalist, Mir Wahed Shah and the technician Shafiq Amiri.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP), or ISIS-K, is a branch of the militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ISIL announced the group’s formation in January 2015.

The attack also led to the injury of at least seven other persons. The news was announced by Khurshid TV executive director Mohammad Rafi Rafiq Sediqi. The attack was later condemned by the United States, the European Union, and NATO.

The attack on May 30 was the second attack in a year in which employees of the Afghan broadcaster were affected. In August 2019, an explosive device hit another Khurshid TV van, claiming two lives and two injuries. Afghanistan is a risky country for journalists, often victims of attacks by both the Islamic State and the Taliban.

Last year, the Taliban threatened Khurshid TV and told its management to desist from broadcasting “anti-Taliban” statements. In 2016, a bus of the TOLO TV station was subjected to a bomb attack that caused seven deaths. At the time, the Taliban accused the media of making propaganda for the American army and the government of Kabul, supported by western forces.

In Afghanistan, ISIS, on the other hand, fights both governmental and Taliban forces, causing frequent and fatal attacks. The latest occurred on May 12, when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a funeral in the province of Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan, killing 24 people.

At the same time, armed men raided a hospital in Kabul, where Doctors Without Borders runs a maternity clinic. The attack killed at least 14 civilians, including two newborn babies. In response to these events, on March 13, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani then ordered the armed forces to launch an offensive against the Taliban and other armed groups.

On Saturday, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation and the delegation that will lead the peace talks between the government and the Taliban, Abdullah Abdullah, said that the government of Kabul is ready to start negotiations with the other party, following the successful outcome of the latest ceasefire between the factions and recent exchanges of prisoners.

Khurshid TV is a professional TV Channel in Kabul, Afghanistan, founded on the 22nd of February 2011. The channel “aims to provide its audience with the enlightenment it needs for the improvement of the country.”

On Tuesday, the truce between government forces and the Taliban ended, which was agreed on May 24. The cease fire was to mark the Muslim religious holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. On the same day , the Afghan government agreed on the release of some 900 Taliban prisoners.

Afghanistan has been subjected to instability and internal strife for many years. Soviet rule of the country lasted from 1979-1989. In 1996, the Taliban had taken control of much of the country, after a long civil war with other armed groups. The then-government of Kabul was supported by the Taliban, but in 2001, an American intervention had overturned it.

The US accused the Afghan authorities of providing asylum to al-Qaeda during the planning of the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed about 3,000 people. Since then, US troops have been active in the country, relegating the Taliban to some strongholds.

On February 29, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement in Doha, Qatar, for the reduction of the American presence in the country. However, internal tensions between the government and militants increased afterward. Despite this, Washington will continue with the withdrawal of most of its troops.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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