Afghanistan: Journalist killed by IED days before polls

KABUL, Afghanistan

On the eve of Saturday’s contentious presidential polls, an improvised explosive device at a campaign office killed a journalist and three other people in Afghanistan, an official confirmed.

Jamal Barakzai, police spokesman in the southern Kandahar province, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that the IED was placed last night by persons unknown at the entrance of a campaign office associated with incumbent President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

The journalist slain in the attack was identified by his local employer, Hewad Radio, as radio presenter Abdul Hamid Hotaki.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Taliban insurgents have warned people against taking part in the elections.

Last month, an improvised explosive device targeting a private TV channel van killed two people in the capital Kabul.

The attack came after the Taliban warned all media outlets in Afghanistan to avoid “propaganda” against their fighters.

In 2016 the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing targeting leading private news channel Tolo News, killing seven journalists.

According to the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, the situation of the media in Afghanistan has worsened. It called 2018 the deadliest year for Afghan journalists since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, with 15 journalists and media workers killed in a series of bombings that began early in the year, including nine in a single day.
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