Afghan Authorities Condemns Murder of Nine Journalists in Double Attack

Although the AJSC's estimates are much higher ― it says at least 80 journalists and media workers have died since 2001 ― it acknowledged that the recent attacks made it the country's deadliest day for journalists.

At least 25 people were killed in two bombings in the capital, Kabul, including eight journalists and four police officers, interior minister spokesperson Najib Danish told the BBC. Shah Marai, Agence France-Presse's chief photographer in Kabul, died in the attack, the agency confirmed, as did two Radio Free Europe journalists and a third reporter who was slated to begin working for the outlet next month.

No one claimed responsibility for the Kandahar and Nangarhar attack.

A suicide bomber struck the Afghan capital outside the National Directorate of Security, killing at least 26 people.

NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said eight Romanian soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The Paris-based group named the nine journalists killed, who worked for media organizations from multiple countries, and said another six reporters were wounded.

Afghan spokesman confirms five journalists for local media killed along with AFP photographer in the attack. BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus called it a "devastating loss".

Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of attacks in Kabul since the beginning of the year, despite President Ashraf Ghani's offer in February for peace talks "without preconditions".

The attacker presented media credentials to the police and joined a group of journalists standing near the first blast site before detonating the second explosive.

Jawed Ghulam Sakhi, a 28-year-old a taxi driver said "when the explosion happened, everywhere was covered with dust and fire, it was such a horrific scene" with bodies and body parts "thrown about on the street and the pavement".

RSF urged the Afghan government to do more to protect journalists.

Spokesman for Kandahar police, Matiullah Zhman confirmed that the 11 children were studying in a nearby madrassa, a religious school and were victimized in this attack.

There has been no claim of responsibility but Taliban militants announced their usual spring offensive last week and there has been heavy fighting in several areas of the country since.

Daesh first appeared in Afghanistan three years ago. Both groups want to establish strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.

The attack came just over a week after a massive suicide bombing occurred outside a voter ID registration center, killing more than 50 people.

The tweet ended with Leridon sending "condolences to the families of other journalists killed in this awful attack".

  • Joey Payne