Islamic State in Afghanistan claims slaying of 3 female journalists
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Affected Countries: afghanistan;
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the slaying of three female journalists in eastern Afghanistan.
The attacks on Tuesday – in which the three women were reportedly gunned down as they walked home from work – is the latest in a wave of targeted killings of Afghan journalists, human rights advocates and women in the workforce. Fifteen media workers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past six months, according to The Associated Press.
Mursal Wahidi, Sadia Sadat and Shahnaz Roafi – all reportedly in their early 20s – worked in the voice-over department at the privately owned Enikass Radio and TV in the city of Jalalabad in Nangahar province, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The journalists dubbed TV shows and films into other languages.
The women were heading home from the office about 4 p.m. when they were shot in separate attacks; Sadat and Roafi were killed while walking together, and Wahidi was shot in another part of town, the CPJ reported. A fourth woman was injured in Tuesday’s shootings and taken to a hospital, according to BBC Persian.
In December, another female journalist at the station, Malalai Maiwand, 26, was shot, along with her driver, in an attack also claimed by the Islamic State.
The slayings underscore the security challenges facing Afghanistan before a May 1 deadline for President Joe Biden to decide whether to withdraw U.S. troops. In February 2020, the United States and Taliban leaders signed a deal conditioning the removal of U.S. soldiers on the condition that the Taliban reduce violence and cut ties with extremist groups.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the slayings Tuesday and blamed them on the Taliban and the atmosphere of violence the Islamist group foments, BBC Persian reported. Maj. Gen. Juma Gul Hemat, the police chief of Nangahar province, also said Tuesday that they had arrested a Taliban-linked suspect.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid in a Tuesday tweet denied that the group was involved.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility late Tuesday, saying the women were targeted because they worked for media “loyal” to the “apostate Afghan government,” CBS reported.
Such targeted assassinations in Afghanistan have largely gone unsolved. While typically no specific group claims responsibility, such attacks by insurgent groups undermine efforts by the embattled Afghan government to assert control over the conflict-ridden country.
Source: Post Guam