A suicide bomber who was posing as a journalist detonated explosives among a group of media workers who had rushed to cover the scene of an earlier explosion in Kabul on Monday, April 30.
ISIS took credit for the attacks which killed 30 civilians including nine journalists. The attack took place in a heavily-secured area of the city, which houses the headquarters for NATO and the U.S. Embassy. It came just nine days after a suicide bomber targeted an election facility in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding dozens.
The same day, a reporter from BBC Pashto was shot by men on motorcycles, becoming the 10th journalist to die that day in Afghanistan.
Monday’s bombing against media was the worst since the one in January 2016 that targeted a TOLO TV staff bus, killing seven and wounding 26.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the attack, stating, “Despite today’s attack, the vibrant media landscape that has developed in Afghanistan will endure, in large part due to those journalists and media professionals who tragically died in today’s attack, but whose courageous and steadfast work helped lay the foundation for Afghanistan’s thriving and resilient independent media.”
AFP chief executive Fabrice Fries, who lost a colleague in the bombing, said in a statement, “This tragedy reminds us of the danger that our teams continually face on the ground and the essential role journalists play for democracy.”
According to Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee, during the past 15 years, more than 80 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan, with over 20 dead in 2017 alone.
A 2017 Survey of the Afghan People revealed that Afghans are more hesitant about their futures and security than in previous years. But despite the increased security concerns, when the survey asked women to name the greatest challenge they face in their area, 38% voiced concern regarding illiteracy and access to education. Following education, women’s primary concerns are economic problems and domestic violence.
Media Resources: Tolo 4/30/18; CNN 5/1/18; Feminist Newswire 11/15/17