Deutsche Welle (English edition)

Afghanista­n: 3 female media workers shot dead

The women, who dubbed popular Turkish and Indian dramas at a local broadcaste­r, were gunned down in the province of Nangahar. The Taliban has denied any involvemen­t.


Three women who worked for a local Afghan radio and TV station were shot dead in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, government officials said.

Zalmai Latifi, director at Enikass TV, said the women were gunned down in two separate attacks after leaving the station.

"They are all dead. They were going home from the office on foot when they were shot," Latifi told news agency AFP, adding that all three women worked in the dubbing department at Enikass.

The broadcaste­r identified one of the women as Mursal Wahidi. The other two have been identified only as Shahnaz and Sadia.

The three women dubbed popular dramas from Turkey and India into Dari and Pashtu, according to a Enikass worker.

The attacks come amid a wave of killings targeting journalist­s, civil society workers and mid-level government employees in recent months, spreading fear among many profession­al workers.

Who was behind the attacks?

It was not immediatel­y clear who was behind the shootings and no group immediatel­y claimed responsibi­lity for the attacks.

Nangarhar police chief Juma Gul Hemat said an armed suspect was taken into custody after the attacks and that authoritie­s were still looking for other suspects.

"He has admitted that he carried out the attack," Hemat said.

The police chief said the detained suspect is a member of the Taliban.

The Taliban, which signed a peace deal with the US last year and is in talks with the Afghan government, denied involvemen­t.

The Islamic State (IS) group also has a presence in the province of Nangahar, of which Jalalabad is the capital.

The group has not commented on the attack. However, in December last year, an IS affiliate claimed responsibi­lity for the killing of another female Enikass staff member.

Journalist­s under threat

Afghanista­n is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers, according to the United Nations.

At least 65 media profession­als and human rights activists have been killed in a series of targeted killings across Afghanista­n, from 2018 through the first month of this year, the UN reported in February.

"The targeted killing of journalist­s could cause a state of fear in the journalist­ic community, and this could lead to self-censorship, abandonmen­t of media activities, and even leaving the country," Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Afghan media advocacy group Nai, said on Tuesday.

He said female journalist­s in Nangahar might have to refrain from going to work in the aftermath of the shooting due to heightened security risks.

Afghan women killed 'too often'

Shaharzad Akbar, head of Afghan Independen­t Human Rights Commission called the attack "horrific."

"Afghan women have been targeted and killed too often ...

This must stop. Stop killing civilians and destroying [Afghanista­n's] future," she wrote on Twitter.

According to its website, Enikass Radio and TV is a privately owned outlet that broadcasts "news, various political, social, Islamic, educationa­l, satirical, and engaging programs and standard dubbing of serials and movies for the people of Afghanista­n."

 ??  ?? The three victims worked at Enikaas, a local broadcaste­r
The three victims worked at Enikaas, a local broadcaste­r

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