05/03/2018, 15.48
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As Afghanistan sinks further into violence, media mourn the death of nine journalists

On 30 April, twin attacks in Kabul killed dozens of people. In the second one, the terrorist disguised himself as a reporter to blow himself up among the journalists who had arrived at the scene.

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – "The signs of war have all but disappeared”; yet, “there is no more hope,” wrote Shah Marai Faizi two years ago in a blog describing the violence in his country.

Three days ago, he was one of nine journalists killed in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, in what is to date the deadliest single day for reporters in the war-torn country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The slain journalists’ colleagues gathered today, World Press Freedom Day, to remember them and Afghanistan’s other fallen journalists and photo-reporters.

Many of them were workmates and close friends and spoke about their pain, slamming the government for its failure to protect civilians and media workers.

Scores of people were killed in the twin attacks in the capital. As in other terrorist act, reporters arrived at the site of the blast that had killed four people.

Less than 40 minutes later, a second terrorist disguised as a reporter blew himself up among the journalists, killing 25 people.

Increasingly, Afghanistan is sinking into violence, caught between the Taliban – who on 25 April announced a new "spring offensive" against US forces and the Afghan government – and the Islamic State group who target the country’s Shia minority.

The latest attack is different from previous ones. Now the insurgents “are focused on voter suppression and fear and intimidation," said Candace Rondeaux, a former Washington Post correspondent in Kabul, now a professor of practice in Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies.

In fact, Afghanistan is scheduled to go to the polls in October. On 22 April, a suicide bomber killed 57 people at a voter registration centre in Kabul where people waited in line to collect identity cards to vote.

This is happening, according to Rondeaux, because "The Afghan government cannot get a hold on corruption. [Attackers] slip through barriers, around boundaries, nine times out of 10, with the willing assistance of security forces who can be bribed to look the other way," she said.

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