Afghan radio station manager killed, journalist kidnapped by Taliban

Afghan radio station manager killed, journalist kidnapped by Taliban
Afghan radio station manager killed, journalist kidnapped by Taliban

Local government officials said suspected Taliban fighters killed the manager of an Afghan radio station in Kabul and kidnapped a journalist in southern Helmand province on Monday, the latest in a series of attacks targeting media workers.

In a targeted killing in the capital on Sunday, gunmen shot Toofan Omar, the station manager of Paktia Ghag radio and an officer for NAI, a group that supports independent media in Afghanistan.

“Omari was killed by unidentified gunmen…he was liberal…we are targeted for working independently,” said Mujeeb Khelwatgar, the head of NAI.

The attack was suspected to have been carried out by Taliban fighters in Kabul.

According to the NAI, 30 journalists and media workers have been killed, wounded, or abducted by militant groups in Afghanistan this year.

An official in the southern Helmand province reported that Taliban fighters had seized a local journalist, Nematullah Hemat, from his home in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, on Sunday.

Razwan Miakhel, the head of Gharghasht TV, where Hemat was employed, said, “There is no idea where the Taliban have taken him…we are in a state of panic.”

Taliban spokesperson told Reuters that he had no information about the killing in Kabul or the abduction of the journalist in Helmand.

The U.S. has been contacted by a coalition of Afghan news organizations. President Joe Biden and House of Representatives leaders, urging them to grant special immigration visas to Afghan journalists and staff.

After Washington announced it would end its military mission in the country by the end of the month, the Taliban seized three northern cities over the weekend and threatened to seize more.

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