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Four media workers killed in the militants’ raid on the Afghan state Radio TV station

Photo: 1TV

May 17, 2017

Jalal Abad – Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) condemns the deadly terrorist attack on the provincial branch of the Afghan state TV station in Jalal Abad, capital of eastern Nangarhar province.

Gunmen stormed the local headquarters of National Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) about 10:30 am local time when most of the employees were at work.

Nangarhar Police Chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi said the attack began with an explosion, followed by a gun battle with Afghan security forces, which had come to an end by the afternoon.

“Four employees of RTA including two technicians, a driver and a guard and two soldiers were martyred in the attack.” Rahim added

According to the police chief, the first attacker detonated his explosives at the entrance door of the RTA compound and then three others entered the compound which is close to the provincial governor’s office.

The Islamic State group (ISIS/Daesh) claimed responsibility for the suicide raid via its pseudo-news agency, Amaq. Local official say the three attackers were killed and one was arrested during the raid.

Inhamullah Miakhial, a spokesman for the provincial hospital said it has received at least 18 wounded people.

Both the Taliban and ISIS' affiliate in Afghanistan are active in Nangarhar, a mountainous province that borders Pakistan.

Several media outlets have been attacked by militants especially by ISIS in the past two years in Nangarhar, The group was actively threatening media outlets and journalists with death on the militant`s local radio station before being destroyed in the Afghan air strike early this month. The militants bombed a building housing two local radio stations and attacked the local offices of the leading news agency Pajhwok Afghan and Voice of America in the provincial capital, Jalal Abad.

AFJC's record shows that the killing the RTA staff brought to more than 72 the number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan since falling of the Taliban regime in 2001, 2016, with 13 dead makes the deadliest year for media community in Afghanistan.

AFJC reiterates its concern about the safety of journalists and media outlets in Afghanistan and calls on Afghan government, particularly security forces to strengthen their efforts to secure journalists’ safety and media institutions to put in place all possible means to limit the risks.