Islamic State responsible for deadly roadside bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan

Faces of the murdered Zamir Amiri (left) and Shafiqullah Zabih (right) Faces of the murdered Zamir Amiri (left) and Shafiqullah Zabih (right) Afghan Independent Journalists' Association (AIJA)

31 May 2020

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killed two and wounded six civilians in Kabul

On Saturday May 30, a white minibus carrying 15 employees from Khurshid TV, was hit by an IED. The attack happened close to the TV channel’s headquarters in Kabul's 4th district, around five o’clock in the afternoon. The interior ministry said the minivan had been targeted. That day, the TV station had allegedly celebrated its eighth anniversary. Khurshid TV suffered a similar deadly IS-attack last year.  

Rafi Sediqqi, editor-in-chief of Khurshid TV, informed TOLOnews that economic reporter Mr Wahed Shah and studio technician Mr Shafiq Amiri were killed in the blast. Th e latter was a recent graduate from university, said father Tahir Shah. Six other employees were wounded, of which two critically. All were taken to Kabul’s Emergency Hospital. It was unclear whether the explosion was caused by a roadside bomb or a device attached to the vehicle. One of the passengers, Mr Madineh Morovat, said: “The explosion happened a few minutes after our departure. There was a deafening noise, the minibus was hurled in the air and we were thrown from our seats. I saw colleagues covered in blood and then I lost consciousness, waking up in hospital”. Hours later, Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, branding Khurshid TV station as “pro-apostate Afghan government”.

The US, UK and German Embassies in Kabul were quick to issue statements condemning the attack. The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee and International Federation of Journalists called for an investigation to bring the killers to justice. On June 8, 2020, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Director-General (UNESCO DG) Audrey Azoulay issued a statement, saying the attack contravened international law and undermined society. He stressed the need for justice and improved safety for journalists in Afghanistan.

While the Afghan government strongly condemned the attack, family and friends of the deceased have criticized authorities for their inability to prevent terrorist attacks and safeguard their citizens. The high rates of violence against journalists coupled with a culture of impunity for perpetrators, make Afghanistan one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to work in.

The two victims Mr. Wahed Shah and Mr. Shafiq Amiri were laid to rest in their hometowns in the north of Kabul on Sunday the 31st of May.


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Author: Roos Middelkoop; Editor: Sara Gorelli

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