Journalist killed in Kabul bomb blast targeting TV workers
A journalist and a driver were killed when a private bus carrying employees of an Afghan television station was hit by a roadside bomb in the capital, Kabul, the network’s news director and officials have said.
Four other employees were wounded in Satursday’s attack, said Marwa Amini, interior ministry deputy spokeswoman.
The pair died when the bus carrying 15 employees of the Khurshid TV news station was struck, the channel’s news director Jawed Farhad told AFP news agency.
The interior ministry said the minivan had been targeted.
“The target of the blast was the vehicle of Khurshid private TV,” a ministry statement said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility hours after the attack.
In a statement on an ISIL-affiliate website, the group said the attack was against a bus carrying employees of Khurshid TV, a station it described as “loyal to the Afghan apostate government”.
ISIL, which battles government forces and Taliban fighters, has claimed some of the deadliest attacks in urban Afghanistan in recent years. It did not give a reason for Saturday’s attack.
Pictures shared on social media showed a white minibus with extensive damage to its front.
It was the second such attack targeting employees of the channel in less than a year.
In August 2019, two passers-by were killed when a “sticky bomb” – a type of homemade explosive attached to vehicles with magnets – struck a similar Khurshid TV van.
Afghanistan is one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists, who face many risks covering the country’s long-running conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.
Last year, the Taliban warned the Afghan media to stop broadcasting what it called “anti-Taliban statements”.
In 2016, a Taliban suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying employees of Tolo TV, the country’s largest private broadcaster, killing seven journalists.
The Taliban claimed Tolo was producing propaganda for the US military and the Western-backed Afghan government.
The latest attack comes during an overall drop in violence across much of Afghanistan since the Taliban offered a surprise three-day ceasefire on May 24.
While the truce ended on Tuesday night, violence has largely remained low, though Afghan security forces have suffered some attacks that authorities blame on the Taliban.