Business & Economy

Bomb blast kills second Afghan journalist in less than week

Kabul, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- An Afghan radio journalist was killed when a bomb attached to his vehicle exploded on Thursday, officials said, days after a similar explosion murdered a former TV presenter in Kabul.

The latest incident took place in Lashkargah, the capital city of southwestern Helmand province, when Muhammad Elyas Dayee, who worked with Radio Liberty, was headed to work from his home, provincial governor’s spokesperson Omar Zwak told EFE.

“We confirm that Dayee was killed in (the) bomb blast,” Zwak said. He said militants had attached a sticky bomb to his car.

His brother, Muhabat, who is also a journalist, was injured along with two other civilians, including a minor, the official said.

Sami Mahdi, Radio Liberty bureau chief, confirmed the death of his colleague on his Twitter handle.

“My colleague and dear friend, Elyas Dayee, lost his life in a terrorist attack this morning. He was a gentleman. Always had a signature smile. This is a terrible news,” Mahdi wrote.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a statement, “strongly condemned (the) terrorist attack” on Dayee and conveyed his sympathies to his family.

Ghani said the attack was an attempt by terrorists to “cover their crimes” and to silence the voice of freedom of speech in the country.

“Terrorists by launching such attacks and crimes cannot silence and limit the freedom of speech and voice of journalists, because this legitimate right of our citizens, media and journalists, is gained and achieved with lots of efforts and sacrifices,” Ghani said.

Dayee is the second Afghan journalist killed in less than a week.

On Saturday, a prominent TV journalist, Yama Siawash, and two civilians were killed by a sticky bomb blast that blew up his car in Kabul city. He worked with a popular private TV network TOLO.

It is the latest in a series of targeted attacks and killings in Afghanistan. The government blames the Taliban for such attacks, but the insurgent group has rejected the allegations.

Media watchdogs consider Afghanistan as one of the deadliest countries for journalists, ranking 122 out of 180 in Reporters Without Borders 2020 world press freedom rankings.

In 2018, the deadliest year for the Afghan press, 20 journalists and media workers were killed, and another 20 wounded in attacks related to their work.

The killings of two media persons came at a sensitive time when representatives of the Taliban and the government have been holding peace talks in the Qatari capital of Doha since early September to end two decades of war in the country. EFE-EPA

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