Published: Tue, May 01, 2018

RSF urged the Afghan government to do more to protect journalists

RSF urged the Afghan government to do more to protect journalists

"I don't know who is responsible for all these attacks".

The 41-year-old's versatility and easy camaraderie was demonstrated moments before the second attack, as he reassured an AFP video colleague who was stuck in traffic and could not reach the scene.

Responsibility for the attack in Kabul claimed by the Islamic state. The group said it would target Afghan and foreign security forces but would avoid civilian casualties.

According to officials, the nine journalists were killed after they arrived to report on the first explosion. The attack, taking place fifteen minutes after a suicide bombing in the same location, was meant to target journalists.

He recalled being one of the few reporters to cover the bombing of Kabul ahead of the USA invasion. Danish initially gave figure of 21 dead including three policemen.

To attack non-combatants aiding the wounded and dying is an attack on the right to health.

Among the 26 victims was AFP chief photographer in Kabul and father of six Shah Marai, who had rushed to the scene.

The attack in the heart of Kabul and specifically in the so-called Green Zone indicates a serious lack of security by the government, says a communiqué from the organization, issued in conjunction with several national media.

Four people were killed and five injured in the first explosion, said Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, adding that authorities had dispatched ambulances to the incident sites. Claimed by the Islamic State, it was the single deadliest attack on the press since the overthrow of Taliban rule in 2001.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the separate attack on BBC Pashto reporter Ahmad Shah, though the Taliban said it was not behind the shooting, according to TOLO News. BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus called it a "devastating loss".

"This is a devastating loss and I send my honest condolences to Ahmad Shah's friends and family and the whole BBC News Afghan team", he said.

US Ambassador John Bass condemned the attack.

Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, said "their valiancy in battle, and that of the courageous Afghan partners they fought alongside, will endure in our hearts and history".

This attack particularly highlights the dangers faced by journalists in a war zone.

Yet no one seems to know how to break vicious cycle of growing violence, 16 years after U.S. military intervention toppled Taliban regime.

Monday's attacks also came days after Taliban insurgents announced the launch of their annual spring offensive, dimming hopes for peace talks recently proposed by the government.

Ghani lies between sword and wall.

The U.S. embassy meanwhile tweeted, "The United States strongly condemns today's savage bombings in Kabul". Like many Afghans, she has one name.

Anthony Bellanger, head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), also denounced the attack, calling it "a bad day for journalists all over the world".

The US is spending about $45 billion per year in Afghanistan, where it has been at war for almost 17 years, making it the longest in American history.

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