AFGHANISTAN: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist Elyas Dayee was killed in a magnetic bomb explosion in Lashkargah city of Helmand province on Thursday morning. He is the sixth journalist to be killed this year in Afghanistan. Dayee was a reporter of Pashto Radio Azadi. His brother Mujtaba, a former DW correspondent, lost his legs in the attack.
Omer Zwak, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said that a sticky bomb was attached to the vehicle which killed Dayee. He further added that three other people were also injured in the attack, including Dayee’s brother, a child, and another man.
Dayee and his brother were heading for work when a magnetic bomb attached to his car went off. Zainullah Jalal Stanikzai, a journalist from Helmand, told Transcontinental Times that Dayee was killed on the spot and his brother was deeply wounded in the attack.
Reacting to the incident, Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Afghan president tweeted, “There is no doubt that the enemies of our media are behind this heinous act of terror.”
Life-threats received by the journalist’s family
Sources close to Dayee’s family said that he had been receiving threats for a long time. Dayee was reporting on the frontline and was a talented journalist. In 2017, he also received the “brave journalist” award.
The attack comes after, Yama Siavash, another Afghan journalist, and former anchor for Tolo News along with two was killed in a magnetic bomb in Kabul on Saturday.
Interestingly, no group claimed the responsibility for the attacks.
Violence plagued in Afghanistan in recent months while the stalemate in the intra-Afghan talks continues in Doha for over two months with no progress in reducing the violence in the country. The talks were part of a negotiated agreement between the United States and the Taliban to allow U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan, ending 19 years of military engagement.
Increased violence on Academic institutions
Recent attacks were targeted at academic institutions as well. ISIS attack on a tutoring center in Dasht-Barchi, West of Kabul, killed more than 24 and wounded 57 students on October 24. A week after, the ISIS-claimed attack on Kabul University which left 35 dead.
Afghanistan is now among the deadliest countries for reporters, according to a report by (RSF) Reporters Without Borders. According to the Afghan Immunity committee for journalists,133 journalists were killed in the last two decades in Afghanistan.