Afghanistan: former journalist and two colleagues killed in targeted attack

A former TV presenter was killed in an explosion in Kabul, which left two more victims on Saturday. Yama Siawash was killed when a bomb placed on his vehicle exploded near his residence, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz told reporters. According to a witness, the victim’s father and brother rushed to the burning vehicle, to no avail.

Yama Siawash, recently an adviser to the Afghan Central Bank, was previously a famous political television presenter at Tolo News. According to the country’s largest private news channel, the two additional victims worked with Siawash at the Central Bank.

The attack has not yet been claimed, but the Interior Ministry accuses the Haqqani network, a group linked to the Taliban. “This type of targeted attacks and magnetic mine explosions, or sticky bombs, is typical of the Haqqani network and the Taliban, ”ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told reporters. The Haqqani network is considered a terrorist group by Washington.

While President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation, many Afghan officials and international diplomats immediately condemned the attack. “I am shocked by the murder of former TV presenter Yama Siawash,” Ross Wilson, charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Kabul, wrote on Twitter.

“The death of Mr. Siawash is a great loss for the country,” said Abdullah Abdullah, in charge of the peace process for the Afghan government. “This is an unforgivable and unforgettable crime,” he added, also calling the incident an attack on freedom of expression. “Attacking educational and university centers and now targeting a media activist indicates the depth of blind terrorism’s enmity with light, conscience and freedom of expression,” Afghan Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said via Twitter. .

Targeted as a journalist or as a public figure?

Targeted attacks targeting personalities – journalists, politicians, human rights defenders and even religious – have increased in recent months, as violence has only worsened across the country despite the opening of discussions on a peace process .

On Thursday, the father of Zarifa Ghafari, one of the country’s first female mayors, was shot dead outside his home in Kabul. Her murder was condemned by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who awarded Ms. Ghafari the International Woman of Courage Award earlier this year.

According to a report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (Sigar, which reports to the US Congress) released this week, “enemy” attacks increased by 50% between July 1 and September 30 in 2010. Afghanistan compared to the second quarter.

Dozens of people have been killed, and many more injured, in less than two weeks in Kabul in bloody attacks. On Monday, 22 people lost their lives, as many were injured, in the attack on Kabul University. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the incident, but the Afghan government blamed the Haqqani network.

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