Armed men shoot Afghan television journalist and her driver | Afghanistan

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Gunmen shot and killed a television journalist and women’s rights activist in Afghanistan in an incident that highlighted increasing violence against journalists in the country.

Malalai Maiwand, journalist for Enikas radio and television, was killed along with her driver Mohammad Tahir when gunmen shot at their vehicle in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province.

His death brought the total number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan this year to 10.

“She was on her way to her post when the incident occurred,” said Attaullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the governor of the province.

The region has been a hotbed of militant activity, including the Islamic State, but no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Malala Maiwand worked at Enikas Radio and TV in Nangarhar. Photograph: RFE / RL

Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said that over the past decade and a half, the vast majority of journalists killed were victims of the Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the group’s involvement in the incident.

Enikas has already been targeted, with its owner, engineer Zalmay, kidnapped for ransom in 2018.

Maiwand is also not the first of her family to be targeted. Five years ago, her mother, also an activist, was killed by unidentified gunmen.

“With the assassination of Malalai, the scope of work of women journalists is increasingly restricted and journalists may not dare to continue their work as they did before,” said Nai, an organization supporting journalists. media in Afghanistan, in a statement.

Last month, Elyas Dayee, a journalist with Radio Azadi, was killed in a bomb explosion in southern Helmand province, and Yama Siawash, a former Tolonews presenter, was killed in a similar blast in Kabul. .

The Afghan government, the German Embassy, ​​the EU delegation and the British Ambassador condemned the growing attacks on journalists and activists.

International donors and governments have also expressed apprehension that progress in women’s rights over the past two decades could be reversed if the Taliban were to return to any power with the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country next year. .

The Taliban’s tough rule was marked by oppressive laws for women until the group was toppled after a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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