REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Afghan journalist killed by roadside bomb in southern Helmand province

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier mans his position at an outpost in an area of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 8 May 2016
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier mans his position at an outpost in an area of Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 8 May 2016

REUTERS/Abdul Malik

This statement was originally published on afjc.af on 4 November 2016.

Nematullah Zaheer, a journalist working for Afghan private television station Ariana News, was killed by a roadside bomb in the capital of the southern province of Helmand on the morning of Friday 4 November 2016.

Zainullah Stankzai, freelance journalist and provincial representative for the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), said "Nematullah Zaheer and I were among a group of journalists traveling to report on a police operation in the second district of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah."

"It was around 9 am that the convoy came under fire and police advised us to leave the main road. I [stepped out of] the vehicle, but shortly after leaving the road, the vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED), killed Zaheer and seriously wounded his driver Abdul Mannaf," Stankzai added.

Prior to Nematullah's death, at least 11 journalists had been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

"AFJC's records show that the death of Zaheer brought to more than 65 the number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan since the falling of the Taliban regime in 2001; with 12 dead just this year, this makes 2016 the deadliest year for the media community in Afghanistan," said Ahmad Quraishi, Executive director of AFJC.

In January, seven media workers of Tolo TV channel, including four women, were killed and about 16 others wounded after a Taliban suicide car bombing struck a minibus in the Afghan capital city Kabul. A week later, an RTA journalist was murdered by unidentified gunmen in Eastern Nangarhar province and in June two NPR journalists were killed while on assignment in southern Helmand province.

AFJC calls on the Afghan government, particularly the security forces, to strengthen their efforts to secure journalists' safety and urges media institutions to put in place all possible means to limit the risks incurred by war correspondents.

Latest Tweet:

Russian journalist dies after severe beating https://t.co/YqG4sDyXY0 @SEENPM_org @netizenrights @EFF https://t.co/mjEDSnso9c