KABUL, Afghanistan: Two back to back blasts caused death of at least 29 people including AFP Chief Photographer and eight other journalists including two female reporter in Afghanistan’s Capital on Monday morning.
Female reporters Mahram Durrani and Sabawoon Kakar reached spot after first suicide attack along with their cameramen and then second suicide blast took place, killing nine journalists at the spot and injuring 12 journalists.
Meanwhile, Islamic State has claimed responsibility for twin blasts in Kabul.
The twin blasts – which occurred close to the National Directorate of Security (NDS) building in Shash Darak area of Kabul – also left over 40 people injured, and among them some were in critical condition, according to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.
#KABUL – At least 29 people including seven journalists and cameramen were killed and over 40 others were wounded in twin suicide bombings on Monday morning, officials at the Ministry of Public Health confirmed.
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) April 30, 2018
The Afghan Interior Ministry said that an assailant on a motorcycle detonated the first blast. Later, another blast went off in the same spot mainly targeting journalists.
— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) April 30, 2018
Besides AFP Chief Photographer Shah Marai, Tolonews Cameraman Yar Mohammad Tokhi, Mashal TV reporter Salim Talash, Mashal TV Cameraman Ali Salimi, 1TV reporter Ghazi Rasouli, 1TV Cameraman Nowroz Ali Rajabi, Azadi Radio Reporter Ebadullah Hananzai, Azadi Radios’ Mahram Durani, and Azadi Radio’s Sabawoon Kakar were killed in Kabul blast.
#UPDATE Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, has been killed.
He died in a blast that was targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital pic.twitter.com/rOa4rg24x9
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 30, 2018
Two female journalists, Mariam Tokhi from Radio Free Europe & Mahram Durrani from Salam Watandar are among those killed in today’s attack. All together, nine journalists have been murdered by the Islamic State in Kabul.
— Habib Khan Totakhil (@HabibKhanT) April 30, 2018
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Office, President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned twin blasts in Kabul, and expressed deep grief and sorrow at the loss of precious human lives.
They also reiterated the Country’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Deeply saddened by the news of a terrorist attack that targeted journalists in Kabul. The Afghan brothers and sisters have suffered extreme hardships including the loss of precious lives. My sympathies are with the bereaved families and the people of Afghanistan.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 30, 2018
Separately, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Afzal Butt and the Secretary General Ayub Jan Sarhandi also expressed deep sorrow over the killing of journalists in Kabul blast.
In their joint statement, they said that terrorism incidents must be strongly condemned, and demanded for effective measures to protect journalists working in war-stricken areas.
The Islamabad-based National Press Club (NPC) President Tariq Mehmood Chaudhry and the Secretary Shakeel Anjum also denounced the Kabul blast, and announced that national flag would remain at half-mast in honour and memory of those journalists who lost their lives in Kabul blast.