IFJ Condemns Killing of Afghan Reporter

The International

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

Park said.


The IFJ joins the AIJA in extending

its condolences to the family and friends of Kapalwak.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919



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