AFGHANISTAN. Ghazni: Another prominent Afghan Journalist was gunned down in front of his home while he was heading to Mosque on Monday evening in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, the 6th to be killed in the country since November 7, according to data compiled by Transcontinental Times.
Rahmatullah Nekzad, photojournalist and former Al-Jazeera reporter and current Associated Press reporter was shot dead by unknown armed men while walking to Mosque in Ghazni, said the interior ministry and local police officials. No group has claimed responsibility so far.
40-years-old Nekzad was also the head of Ghazni Journalists’ union and worked on a freelance basis for the international media in Ghazni.
Reactions to his death
International media outlets reacted to the death of Nekzad. In a tweet on Monday, Al-Jazeera Media Network said it was “shocked at the news of the killing” and strongly condemned.
The Taliban denied any involvement in the killing. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Majahid reacted to the death of Nekzad in a tweet saying” We consider this killing a loss for the country.”
“With great sorrow, we learnt that a professional reporter of our homeland, Rahmatullah Nekzad, was martyred. We condemn this cowardly act, extend condolences to his family and consider his murder a national loss. As a committed Journalist, Nekzad maintained good relations with us.
Afghan Journalists’ Safety Committee also condemned the murder in a tweet. “ AJSC strongly condemns the serial killing of Afghan Journalists,”
Reporters Without Border(RSF) called it “targeted muder” and called on United Nation to take concrete measures to protect Journalists.
Surge in targeted killings of Journalists
Violence on prominent figures, including Journalists continues in Afghanistan despite a breakthrough in peace talks with the Taliban. Since November 7, Afghan media lost 6 Journalists in the last months. 4 were killed in targeted attacks and 2 others are suspected to be murdered with no further details provided. For some Journalists the country is fast turning into Journalists; graveyard with no one taking responsibility.
Earlier this month female news anchor Malalai Maiwand, was shot dead along with her driver in Jalalabad, Yama Siawash, former Tolo News anchor killed in Kabul on Novemeber 7. Last month, Radio Liberty reporter from Helmand Elyas Dayee was killed in a car bomb attack. A week ago, another Journalist Fardin amini have died in a mysterious case like Khurshid TV Journalist Rafi Sadiqqi who was also killed in an unclear incident.
The international Press Freedom group Reporters Without borders has called Afghanistan one of the world’s deadliest countries for Journalist. The Afghan Journalists’ Safety Committee said seven media staff were killed this year.