Deadliest day for Afghan journalists, 10 killed

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A Kabul police spokesman has raised the casualty toll from the double suicide attacks in the Afghan capital to 25 killed and at least 45 wounded.

A statement from the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee also says that so far, six journalists have been reported wounded in Monday's attacks.

Afghan security forces stand guard near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2018.

The group first emerged in 2014, as the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were wrapping up their combat mission in the country, and has steadily expanded its footprint since then. These new terrorist actions, just a week after one that caused 60 deaths before an electoral registration center, also in capital, question official promises to reinforce security, as well as new Trump policy under whose USA mandate has increased its aerial bombardments of Taliban insurgents and Islamic State (ISIS).

Police in Kabul stated that the first blast left at least five people dead and four others wounded, meanwhile the second was said to be more powerful.

She added: "Marai was a treasured colleague who spent more than 15 years documenting the tragic conflict in Afghanistan for AFP".

The Foreign Office on Monday strongly condemned the twin suicide attacks killing and injuring scores of innocent people in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The children from the madrasa had gathered around the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy for fun when the bomber struck, said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State. Journalists were targeted by this attack.

Health Ministry officials said a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up in the Shash Darak area, home to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters and several embassies and foreign offices as well as the Afghan intelligence service. He said police were investigating the motive.

Shah Marai, Agence France-Presse's chief photographer in Kabul, died in the attack, the agency confirmed, as did two Radio Free Europe journalists and a third reporter who was slated to begin working for the outlet next month. Hundreds of people attended his funeral later on Monday.

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It was the deadliest day for the country's media since a USA -led campaign ousted the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in 2001.

In a separate incident, Ahmad Shah, a 29-year-old reporter with the BBC's Afghan service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Khost province, the BBC said. BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus called it a "devastating loss".

Survivors and witnesses recounted scenes of mayhem. "I saw journalists covered with blood".

I watched the September 11 attacks on the BBC, not thinking for a second that there would be possible repercussions for Afghanistan.

Eight journalists, including at least one woman, died in the blasts, according to Sharifi.

The AFJC said the other journalists killed were Ali Salimi and Salim Talash of MashalTV, Nawruz A. Khamoosh and Ghazi Rasuli of 1TV, and Yar Moh Tokhi of ToloNews.

Attaullah Khoghyani, spokesman for the regional government, revealed that the lieutenant governor and three other police officers were injured.

No one claimed responsibility for the attacks. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan first emerged in Nangarhar a few years ago, then expanded its footprint to elsewhere across the country. Since January 2015, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has been conducting the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan aimed at training and assisting Afghan security forces.

While both the Taliban and the Islamic State group want to drive out North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and impose a severe form of Islamic rule, they are fiercely divided on leadership, ideology and tactics. "We salute the incredible bravery of these journalists, while noting the cynicism and cruelty of a suicide bomber pretending to be a media worker to target the press". The suicide bomber had targeted a convoy of Romanian soldiers.

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