3 female media worker shot dead in Afghanistan
International desk || shiningbd
Three female media workers were shot dead in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday while heading home from work.
Local broadcaster Enikass TV said the women killed were its employees. Zalmai Latifi, director at the station, said they were gunned down in two separate attacks after leaving the network.
“They are all dead. They were going home from the office on foot when they were shot,” Latifi said. Two other people, apparently passersby, were wounded in the shootings. Latifi said the three women were recent high school graduates aged between 18 and 20.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Nangarhar police chief Juma Gul Hemat said an armed suspect was later taken into custody following the shootings, adding authorities were still looking for other culprits. “We arrested him as he was trying to escape,” said Hemat. “He has admitted he carried out the attack. He is a Taliban member.”
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the group had any hand in the killings.
The three women dubbed popular and often emotion-laden dramas from Turkey and India into Afghanistan’s local languages of Dari and Pashtu, said the news editor of the privately-owned station Shokrullah Pasoon.
In a statement, President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killings, saying “attacks on innocent compatriots, especially women, are contrary to the teachings of Islam, Afghan culture and the spirit of peace”.
Journalists, religious scholars, activists, and judges have all been targeted in a recent wave of political assassinations that have spread panic across Afghanistan and forced many into hiding – with some even fleeing the country.
In January, 28-year-old Bismellah Adel Aimaq, the editor-in-chief of Sada-e-Ghor (Voice of Ghor) radio station, was killed near Firoz Koh city in the province of Ghor. In December, gunmen killed Malala Maiwand, a female news anchor at Enikass, and her driver in Jalalabad. An affiliate of the armed group ISIL (ISIS), based in eastern Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the killing.
The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee issued a statement condemning Tuesday’s killings and criticizing government investigations of previous killings of journalists. Without elaborating, it said the investigations of past attacks are “not satisfactory at all, something that needs to be changed”.
The Vienna-based International Press Institute called the killings an “unspeakable act”.