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Media workers shot dead on way home in Afghanistan

A wave of shootings and small bombs attached to vehicles in have targeted journalists, civil society workers and mid-level government employees in recent months.

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The Afghan government and some foreign powers have blamed the attacks largely on the Taliban. The Islamic State group also has a presence in the eastern Afghan province of Nangahar, of which Jalalabad is the capital.

“The targeted killing of journalists could cause a state of fear in the journalistic community, and this could lead to self-censorship, abandonment of media activities, and even leaving the country,” said Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Afghan media advocacy group Nai.

Enikas TV’s Latifi said the channel, which was set up in 2018, had employed 10 women but four had now been killed, including Malala Maiwand, a television journalist shot alongside her driver late last year.

The Taliban and Afghan government are carrying out peace talks in Doha, though progress has slowed while US President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing its plans for the peace process and the withdrawal of troops.

“These attacks are meant to intimidate; they are intended to make reporters cower; the culprits hope to stifle freedom of speech in a nation where the media has flourished during the past 20 years. This cannot be tolerated,” the US embassy in Kabul said in a statement on Twitter.

Reuters

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