TV journalist and her driver assassinated on way to work in eastern Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan - Unknown gunmen assassinated a female TV anchor and her driver in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said on Thursday.

No one has claimed responsibility in the killing of Malalai Maiwand and her driver.
No one has claimed responsibility in the killing of Malalai Maiwand and her driver.  © Screenshot/Twitter/Aqa Mohammad Qurishi

Journalist Malalai Maiwand and her driver were shot dead at 7:10 AM local time (9:30 PM EST) when they were going to work in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, the governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assassination. Both the Taliban and ISIS are active in the province.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

At least 10 journalists and media staff were killed in the country in 2019. The previous year was the deadliest for journalists, with 20 reporters and media staff killed in various violent attacks in the embattled country.

Channel head blames "enemies of the country"

Maiwand worked as an anchor for the privately-owned Enikass radio and TV channel in the volatile province for about four years, channel head Zalmai Latifi told the DPA .

Latifi blamed "enemies of the country" and said the channel had been receiving death threats.

In 2017, several people, including one of the TV station's drivers, were killed in an explosion close to the station. In 2018, the director of the station was abducted by unknown gunmen but was later freed.

Last month, two prominent Afghan journalists were killed by bombs in separate incidents in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province and capital Kabul.

Cover photo: Screenshot/Twitter/Aqa Mohammad Qurishi

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