1 May 2018Hot off the Press
A coordinated double suicide bombing has killed at least 25 people, including 10 journalists, in the eastern Khost province of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday.
At least 45 others were injured in the attacks. Ahmad Shah, a 29 year-old BBC reporter, was also shot dead in a separate attack in the Khost province, near the border of Afghanistan.
The bombings have marked the deadliest day for media workers in the country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
The first bombing occurred at approximately 8:00 am local time, where a suicide bomber rode a motorbike through Shash Darak, a neighbourhood closely located to NATO headquarters and the US embassy.
Journalists and rescue workers rushed to the scene, where it was only 20 minutes later that a second bomber, who was holding a camera and posing as a journalist, blew himself up.
The blast killed nine journalists, including Agence France-Presse (AFP) chief photographer Shah Marai, who the AFP said was “a treasured colleague who spent more than 15 years documenting the tragic conflict in Afghanistan for AFP.”
There was also a third attack hours later, where 11 children were killed in a suicide bombing that was intended to target a NATO convoy in Khandahar province.
Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks by releasing declarations via their personal news broadcast service, Amaq, which stated that they were targeting intelligence service headquarters.
Shahhussain Murtazawi, spokesperson for the Afghan presidency, condemned the twin attacks, saying that “the criminal terrorists once again hit Kabul and Nangarhar and committed crimes against humanity, during which a number of civilians have been martyred and injured”.
There have been at least 34 journalist and media reporters who have been killed by ISIS or the Taliban since 2016, the NGO group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.
The Afghanistan conflict has continued to escalate, as a string of similar, deadly attacks have occurred throughout the capital and various other Afghani cities this year.