Local government authorities reported on Monday that suspected Taliban militants murdered an Afghan radio station manager in Kabul and abducted a journalist in southern Helmand province, the latest in a long series of assaults against journalists.
In a targeted assassination in Kabul on Sunday, gunmen shot Toofan Omar, the station manager of Paktia Ghag radio and an official for NAI, a rights organization that supports independent media in Afghanistan.
“Omari was killed by unidentified gunmen … he was [a] liberal man … we are being targeted for working independently,” said Mujeeb Khelwatgar, the head of NAI.
Officials in Kabul believe the assault was conducted out by Taliban militants.
Last month, the NAI reported that terrorist organizations in Afghanistan had murdered, injured, or kidnapped at least 30 journalists and media workers this year.
Taliban militants kidnapped a local journalist, Nematullah Hemat, from his house in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, on Sunday, according to authorities in southern Helmand province.
“There is just absolutely no clue where the Taliban have taken Hemat … we are really in a state of panic,” said Razwan Miakhel, head of a private TV channel, Gharghasht TV, where Hemat was employed.
According to Reuters, a Taliban spokesman said he had no knowledge about the killing in Kabul or the kidnapped journalist in Helmand.
A group of Afghan news organizations has written to US President Joe Biden and House of Representatives leaders, asking them to give Afghan journalists and support personnel special immigration permits.
Over the weekend, the Taliban captured three northern cities and threatened to take others, intensifying an assault against Afghan government troops in the wake of Washington’s declaration that it will cease its military operation in the country by the end of the month.