Eight journalists among 29 killed in twin Afghanistan blasts

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Kabul, : Eight journalists were among 29 people killed in a suicide attack in Kabul Monday, including a famed photographer who had written of the dangers of reporting in the Afghan capital.

The journalists died when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State.
The first blast happened at around at 8 a.m. local time in the Shashdarak area of the city, where the US embassy and Afghan government buildings are located, prompting journalists to rush to the scene.
The second explosion came as the attacker, posing as a cameraman, detonated explosives as journalists huddled around the scene, Kabul City Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told CNN.
In a statement issued via the social media app Telegram, ISIS said a “martyrdom brother” blew his explosive vest up among a group of “apostates” and killed and wounded a number of them. The group named the bomber as Qaqaa al-Kurdi and the second attacker as Khalil al-Qurshi. ISIS did not provide any evidence for the claim.
Eight journalists, including at least one woman, died in the blasts, according to Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.
In a tweet Monday, the Global News Director, Michele Leridon, honored Marai for his “extraordinary strength, courage and generosity” and praised his “consummate professionalism” and “sensitivity” during his 15 years covering the Afghan conflict for AFP.
AFP said the death of its “treasured colleague” Shah Marai in Monday’s twin blast in Kabul was “a devastating blow”.
The tweet ended with Leridon sending “condolences to the families of other journalists killed in this terrible attack”.
A further 45 people were injured in the two incidents, and have been taken to city hospitals, according to Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahid Majroh.
He leaves behind six children, including a newborn daughter, AFP said.
In an essay entitled “When Hope is Gone,” written in 2016 — before the birth of his sixth child — he acknowledged the danger of living in the city with his young family.
“I don’t dare to take my children for a walk. I have five and they spend their time cooped up inside the house.
“Every morning as I go to the office and every evening when I return home, all I think of are cars that can be booby-trapped, or of suicide bombers coming out of a crowd. I can’t take the risk.”(Agencies)

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