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World

AFP
August 4, 2019

At least two dead as Afghan TV bus bombed in Kabul

World

AFP
Sun, Aug 04, 2019

Kabul: Two people were killed in a blast targeting workers of an Afghan television station Sunday, while elsewhere in the war-torn nation at least seven police officers died in an "insider attack" by Taliban loyalists, officials said.

The deadly attacks come amid surging violence across Afghanistan even while the US is negotiating with the Taliban for a possible peace agreement.

The first attack occurred in Kabul, when a "sticky bomb" -- a type of homemade device often attached to vehicles with magnets, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

A bus carrying the employees of Khurshid TV exploded in the Taimani area, he said, referring to a bustling neighbourhood in central Kabul.

"Two bypassers killed, and four others, including three employees of Khurshid TV injured."

Social media pictures showed a white minibus with extensive damage to its front. Zabiullah Doorandish, a journalist with Khurshid TV, said three of his colleagues had been injured, including one journalist.

"We had received a warning recently by the (security services), that the Taliban may target us," he told AFP.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but the Taliban in June threatened media outlets broadcasting anti-Taliban advertisements.

"They shall become military targets for the mujahideen in the capital, provinces, cities and rural areas and none of their officers, journalists, workers and personnel shall retain any immunity," the Taliban said in a June 24 statement.

Doorandish said he had not seen any anti-Taliban ads on the channel.

According to its Facebook page, the private Khurshid TV station is dedicated to showing cultural programmes that "preach the main values of journalism, democracy, national unity, creation of understanding & trust among people".

Afghanistan is the world´s deadliest place for journalists, who faces many risks covering the conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.

On Twitter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the bus attack "a war crime".

"I strongly condemn the attack on Khurshid Media. Deliberately targeting media and civilians is a war crime and those responsible will be held accountable," he wrote.

"Words cannot express how saddened I am to hear of your loss. I send my deepest condolences to the affected families."