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Deadliest day for Afghan journalists; 10 killed in two attacks
May 23 2018, 01:22 | Perry Erickson
Kabul blasts kill many including photographer Shah Marai
At least 25 people have been killed in a twin suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul, with the second blast targeting journalists gathering to report on the first.
A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, killing 25 people, including an AFP photographer and a cameraman for a local TV station, the Afghan police said.
Just a few hours later, within the southern Kandahar province, a suicide automotive bomb concentrating on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy killed 11 kids from a close-by non secular faculty, police stated.
Agence France-Presse identified one of the dead as Shah Marai, its chief photographer in Kabul.
A suicide bomber struck the Afghan capital outside the National Directorate of Security, killing at least 26 people. CEO Abdullah Abdullah said: "Attack on the media is attack on democracy and an effort to silence the voice of voiceless".
Monday was a deadly day in Afghanistan, as 10 journalists, one United States soldier, and multiple civilians were killed in four separate incidents across the country. At least 15 journalists were killed there in 2017, many in targeted attacks on the media. Eight Romanian NATO troopers have been wounded. Afghan forces have struggled to fight militants from the Taliban and Islamic State. It also included disgruntled Afghan Taliban fighters opposed to their leadership's attempts to rein in violence and pursue peace efforts.
The site of the explosions was close to NATO's Afghan headquarters, the U.S. embassy and Afghan government buildings, including the Presidential palace, the Defense Ministry and the headquarters of Afghanistan's intelligence services.
"This is the normal stuff by people who can not win at the ballot box, so they turn to bombs", Mattis told reporters in Washington late on April 30.
In the southern city of Kandahar, where NATO-led forces operate out an big air base, 11 children were killed and 16 wounded when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden van into a foreign-force convoy, police said.
Matiullah Helal, deputy spokesman for the provincial police chief, said 16 people were also wounded, including five North Atlantic Treaty Organisation soldiers, nine civilians and two policemen. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan first emerged in Nangarhar a few years ago, then expanded its footprint across the country.
And the month before, an ISIS suicide bomber targeted a Shiite shrine in Kabul where people had gathered celebrating the Persian new year.
IS and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the Afghan government and security forces, and IS targeting the country's Shiite minority, whom the militants view as apostates.
Ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh told Afghanistan's largest private TV channel Tolo news that at least 27 people were wounded and rushed to hospital, warning that some were in critical condition and the toll could yet rise.