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Taliban Attack Kills Local Journalist

Afghanistan - Journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, undated.

Afghanistan - Journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, undated.

The death of Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak in Afghanistan's southern Oruzgan province on July 29 is a cruel reminder of the dangers that continue to confront journalists in Afghanistan.

In numerous cases journalists have been subject to threats or violence in retaliation for their reporting. In others they have been the victims, along with countless others, of indiscriminate, situational violence. Khpalwak, who worked as a reporter for the BBC Pashto service, the Afghan news agency Pajhwok and the National Radio TV of Afghanistan (RTA), was in the RTA building when six suicide bombers targeted it and several other government buildings in a coordinated attack. He was one of at least 19 people killed.

Internews, a media training organization, and its local partner, Nai Supporting Afghanistan Open Media, have released an extensive report on violence against journalists in Afghanistan that is the result of a 10-year monitoring project. The report analyzes data in terms of location, gender, type of attack and motive and includes an interactive map. Among the media organizations suffering the most violence over the last decade, RFE’s Radio Azadi is fifth.

Khpalwak is the third Pajhwok journalist to be killed.