Islamic State claims killing of female TV presenter in Afghanistan

JALALABAD, Afghanistan/KABUL (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a female TV presenter and women's rights activist in Afghanistan on Thursday, an attack that underscored an increasing trend of violence against journalists in the country. Malalai Maiwand, a presenter at Enikas Radio and TV in the eastern province of Nangarhar, was killed along with her driver in the attack on their vehicle in the regional capital Jalalabad, taking the total number of journalists and media workers killed this year in Afghanistan to 10.

Reuters December 11, 2020 01:10:18 IST
Islamic State claims killing of female TV presenter in Afghanistan

Islamic State claims killing of female TV presenter in Afghanistan

JALALABAD, Afghanistan/KABUL (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a female TV presenter and women's rights activist in Afghanistan on Thursday, an attack that underscored an increasing trend of violence against journalists in the country.

Malalai Maiwand, a presenter at Enikas Radio and TV in the eastern province of Nangarhar, was killed along with her driver in the attack on their vehicle in the regional capital Jalalabad, taking the total number of journalists and media workers killed this year in Afghanistan to 10.

"She was on the way to the office when the incident happened," said Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Nangarhar has been a hotbed of militant activity, most notably involving Islamic State, which issued its claim of responsibility via its Telegram communications channel, calling her a "pro-regime" journalist.

Maiwand, who was 25, was not the first in her family to be targeted. Five years ago, her mother, also an activist, was killed by unknown gunmen. Enikas has been targeted before, with its owner, Engineer Zalmay, kidnapped for ransom in 2018.

"With the killing of Malalai, the working field for female journalists is getting more smaller and the journalists may not dare to continue their jobs the way they were doing before," Nai, an Afghan media advocacy group, said in a statement.

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

The Afghan government, the German Embassy, European Union delegation and Britain's ambassador condemned growing attacks on journalists and activists.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said that in the last decade and a half, the vast majority of journalists killed had been victims of Islamist Taliban militants.

International donors and governments have voiced apprehension about a possible reversal of progress on women's rights over the last two decades if the Taliban return to any sort of power with the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country scheduled next year.

The Taliban's ultra-hardline rule in 1996-2001 was marked by oppressive laws for women up until the group was toppled following a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi in Kabul and Ahmad Sultan in Nangarhar; Additional reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek in Cairo; Writing by Gibran Peshimam and Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.