Gunmen opened fire and killed Malalai Maiwand, a radio and television journalist, in Jalalabad city early Thursday morning in what has become yet another suspected targeted attack on media workers.
Maiwand was killed shortly after 7.30am in the Nangarhar provincial capital, along with her driver, while on her way to work. She worked for provincial radio and TV station Enikass.
Reacting to the attack, Ministry of Interior spokesman Tariq Arian said in a tweet that “unfortunately, in the last decade and a half, the vast majority of journalists have been killed by the Taliban.”
Maiwand’s death on Thursday has brought the total number of journalists killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 52, according to CPJ data.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for her death.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Elyas Dayee (Photo from Facebook)
This latest incident comes less than a month on 7th November after Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Elyas Dayee was killed in an IED explosion in Lashkargah city in Helmand province.
The November 12 incident happened after insurgents attached a magnetic IED to Dayee’s car and came less than a week after former TOLOnews TV presenter Yama Siawash was killed in the same type of attack.
TOLOnews TV presenter Yama Siawash
“This is part of an alarming pattern of increased threats and attacks on the media by the Taliban,” Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said in a tweet after Dayee’s death.
Thursday’s attack comes just three days after NATO allies and partners in Afghanistan issued a joint statement condemning the ongoing targeted attacks and assassinations of individuals, including journalists.
This comes after almost daily killings of people who appear to have been singled out by insurgents to be assassinated.
Of the dozens of people killed in this way in the past few months are judicial officials and media representatives among others.
The signatories to the statement specifically stated that they expect that all parties to the conflict will protect the freedom and the independence of the media and civil society in Afghanistan.
“We reaffirm our commitment to champion the freedom of all the Afghan people. We call for immediate compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
“To this end, we support the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in its efforts to investigate and prosecute those who are targeting these individuals with violence and immediately end the impunity of these killings.”