Explosion blasts awards ceremony for journalists, two dead,16 hurt, and three children
The explosion took place at the Tabian Farhang centre in the capital of Bakh province, as journalists gathered for the award event at 11am on 11/03/23, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for Balkh police confirmed.
The incident came two days after a bomb in Mazar-i-Sharif killed the provincial governor, Daud Muzmal, and two others. Four were wounded.
Wounded journalists included Najeeb Faryad (below), a reporter for Ariana News television station, who said he felt like something hit him in the back, followed by a deafening sound before he fell to the ground, according to AP.
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the regional affiliate of the ISIL (ISIS) group is a key rival of the Taliban. The group has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021. Targets have included Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shia minority.
List of injured journalists:
- March 4, 2023, Guardian: Anger grows over Afghan journalists still stranded thanks to UK inaction
- August 2022 survey by RSF on 60% loss of journalists/ media in year after fall of Kabul. Women hit worse than men.
- March 18, 2019 UN Missions: Journalists’ Day, once upon a time