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Gunmen storm Shamshad TV station in Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan security personnel rescue a man from the Shamshad TV compound after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, 7 November 2017
Afghan security personnel rescue a man from the Shamshad TV compound after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, 7 November 2017

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

This statement was originally published on AFJC's Facebook page on 7 November 2017.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) strongly condemns an attack by gunmen on Shamshad TV station in Kabul, which resulted in the killing of two persons and the wounding of two dozen others. This is the latest deadly incident targeting Afghan journalists.

Shamshad TV station came under attack after a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the gate of the network's compound at 10 am on November 7, 2017 - which opened the way for other gunmen to enter the facility.

"The attackers were wearing police uniforms and one of them managed to enter a building where at least 200 employees were working," Shamshad News Director Abed Ehsas told ToloNews TV at a hospital where some of his wounded colleagues were being treated.

"Security agencies did not tell us that we were under threat. We would have been informed if they sent us a letter - [nevertheless] we stand again and such an attack cannot silence us," he added.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack which lasted about three hours before Afghan Special Forces overpowered the attackers, who were armed with guns and grenades, and freed staff trapped inside the building.

The Interior Ministry said two people, including an employee of the TV station, had been killed and 24 people wounded, including four firefighters.

"We strongly condemn the attack; this attack is a brazen assault not just on one TV station but on the entire media [community] and free expression in Afghanistan," said Ahmad Quraishi, Executive Director of AFJC.

"We call on the Afghan government to strengthen its efforts to secure media organizations' and media workers' safety and to put in place all possible means to limit the risks," he added.

This is the second deadly attack on media organizations in Afghanistan in 2017. On May 17, six people, including four employees of the RTA state broadcaster, were killed in an ISIS raid on the station in eastern Jalal Abad city.

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