Gunmen kill journalist, driver in eastern Afghanistan

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Unknown gunmen assassinated a female TV anchor and her driver in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said on Thursday.

The journalist, Malalai Maiwand, and her driver were shot dead at 07:10 am local time (02:40 GMT) on their way to work in the provincial capital Jalalabad city, the provincial governor spokesperson, Ataullah Khogyani, said.

Ms Maiwand worked as an anchor for the private “Enikass’’ Radio and TV channel in the volatile province for about four years, channel head Zalmai Latifi told dpa.

Mr Latifi blamed enemies of the country and said the channel had been receiving death threats.

In 2017, several people including a driver of the TV station were killed in an explosion close to the station.

In 2018, the director of the station was abducted by unknown gunmen but was later freed.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the Thursday assassination, both the Taliban and Islamic State are active in the province.

According to Reporters without Borders, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

At least 10 journalists and media staff were killed in the country in 2019.

The previous year was the deadliest for journalists, with 20 reporters and media staff killed in various violent attacks in the embattled country.

In November, two prominent Afghan journalists were killed by bombs in separate incidents in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province and the capital Kabul.

(dpa/NAN)

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