Kabul Blasts’ Dead Include Journalists
At least 25 are dead In Kabul after a twin bombing, the second blast apparently timed to hit responding rescue workers and press. Among the dead and wounded are at least 8 journalist. Reportedly the second bomber disguised as a journalist and infiltrated the gathering crowd.
Back to back suicide bombs claimed by the extremist Islamic State group exploded Monday morning near an Afghan security compound in a highly secure area of the Afghan capital, killing at least 25 people, including journalists, police said.
The second blast came as news photographers and crews were rushing to the scene, and at least seven journalists were killed, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee said.
Agence France-Presse identified one of the dead as Shah Marai, its chief photographer in Kabul. The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee said other victims included a cameramen and journalists for local TV stations.
Hours after the attacks, the local branch of the Islamic State group posted a statement online saying two of its “martyrs” carried out an attack on the Afghan intelligence services in Kabul.
The attack took place in the Shash Darak neighborhood which is the site of a number of embassies and the NATO headquarters.
Local media watchdog, Afghan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC), while confirming the eight media-related fatalities, strongly condemned the attack.
Two female journalists, including Mariam Tokhi from Radio Free Europe were also among the dead. French news agency AFP has confirmed the death of its chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai. A male staffer from RFE was also killed and another RFE staff person wounded in the attacks.
A leading Afghan television station, ‘1 TV News,’ has also confirmed the killing of two staffers in Monday’s attack.
Afghan authorities and witnesses said the attack began during early morning rush hour with a suicide bomber on motorbike blowing himself up near an office of the National Directorate of Security, the country’s intelligence agency.
When rescue workers and media crews gathered at the site minutes later, a second bomber disguised as journalist detonated explosives strapped to his body, causing most of the casualties, said Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Istanikzai.
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