Afghan radio station manager killed, journalist kidnapped
Suspected armed Taliban gunned down an Afghan radio station manager in Kabul and kidnapped a journalist in southern Helmand province, officials said, the latest in a long series of attacks targeting media workers.
Gunmen shot at Toofan Omar, the director of Radio Paktia Ghag who was also an officer of NAI, an independent media support group in Afghanistan, in a targeted assassination in the capital on August 8.
“Omari was killed by unidentified gunmen … he was a liberal man … we are targeted for working independently,” said Mujeeb Khelwatgar, the head of the NAI.
Khelwatgar also said it was not immediately clear whether Omar’s assassination was related to his activities at the radio station or the NAI.
No group claimed responsibility for the killing, but officials in Kabul suspected Taliban fighters carried out the attack.
Last month, the NAI said at least 30 Afghan journalists and media workers were killed, wounded or kidnapped by militant groups this year.
In Helmand province, officials said Taliban fighters arrested a local journalist, Nematullah Hemat, at his home in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, on August 8.
“There is absolutely no idea where the Taliban took Hemat … we are really in a state of panic,” said Razwan Miakhel, director of the private Gharghasht TV channel where Hemat was employed. .
A coalition of Afghan news agencies has written to US President Joe Biden and House leaders urging them to grant special immigration visas to Afghan journalists and support staff.