Afghan female TV journalist, driver shot dead

By: News Desk      Published: 12:31 PM, 10 Dec, 2020
Afghan female TV journalist, driver shot dead

Gunmen shot dead a female news anchor and her driver on Thursday, her employer said, the second murder of a journalist in Afghanistan in a month.

Malalai Maiwand was killed in the eastern city of Jalalabad, said Enekaas TV, the private television channel she worked for.

Targeted killings of prominent figures, including journalists, clerics, politicians and rights activists, have become more common in recent months as violence surges in Afghanistan, despite peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, and the local hospital confirmed the killings.

Nangarhar province and its capital Jalalabad have seen regular clashes between government forces and the Taliban. The extremist Islamic State group has also claimed several deadly attacks in the province.

The murder of Maiwand, who was in her 20s, comes just weeks after Radio Liberty reporter Aliyas Dayee was killed in a car bomb attack in Lashkar Gah.

Human Rights Watch said Dayee had previously been threatened by the Taliban.

A former television presenter in Kabul, Yama Siawash, was killed in a similar car bomb attack near his home last month. 

No group has so far claimed these murders.

Afghan forces are battling an increase in violence in the country, much of it unleashed by the Taliban as they attempt to gain leverage in peace talks in Qatar, which opened in September. 

According to TOLOnews, the Thursday’s incident occurred around 7:10am local time in the Golaye Araban area in PD3 of Jalalabad city, said Attaullah Khogyani. “She was on her way to the office when the incident occurred,” Khogyani said, adding that “her driver was also shot and killed in the attack.” 

Maiwand was also an activist in the province, said Khogyani. 

However, no group, including the Taliban, has immediately claimed responsibility. 

The German embassy in Kabul tweeted: “We strongly condemn these attacks on media representatives and civil society and civilians. They must stop!”