Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Afghan Independent
Journalists’ Association (AIJA) in condemning the killing of journalist Ahmad
Omaid Khpalwak in an armed attack in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan
on July 28.
Khpalwak, 25, a reporter with the
BBC Pashto Service, Pajhwok Afghan News Agency and the state broadcaster Radio
Television of Afghanistan (RTA), was killed in Tarin Kowt, the capital of the troubled
Up to 19 people were killed and 37
others injured in a coordinated triple bomb blast and shooting attack near the
city’s market and the local RTA offices.
The Taliban claimed responsibility
for the attack but denied killing Khpalwak, according to the BBC. The Taliban alleges
government forces shot Khpalwak as they tried to regain control of the area,
while other reports suggest NATO forces may have been responsible.
The BBC has asked the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to
conduct an inquiry, due to conflicting reports about who fired the fatal shots.
AIJA President Rahimullah Samander said Khpalwak’s death underscores
the extreme dangers faced by journalists in Afghanistan, where there has been a
spike in violent attacks and assassinations in recent months.
“We strongly denounce this
deliberate attack on a public broadcaster, which caused the pointless death of
a courageous friend,” Samander said.
The attack followed a suicide bomb
attack in Kandahar
on July 27, and the assassination of President Hamid Kharzai’s half-brother Ahmad
Wali Karzai on July 12.
“The IFJ reiterates the AIJA’s
condemnation of this targeted attack on a media organisation and calls for
improved security measures to be implemented to protect journalists working in
high-risk areas of Afghanistan,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline
The IFJ joins the AIJA in extending
its condolences to the family and friends of Kapalwak.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +61 2 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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