Tributes are pouring in for at least nine Afghan reporters killed in an explosion while covering an earlier suicide bombing in Kabul.
The first blast was caused on Monday morning by a motorcycle-riding attacker who detonated explosives during rush hour in the Shash Darak area of the Afghan capital.
About half an hour later, as journalists waited by a security cordon several hundred metres away from where the first explosion had occurred, a second suicide bomber apparently posing as a reporter blew himself up among them.
The explosion caused “the deadliest day in Afghan media history”, a joint statement by The Afghanistan Federation of Journalists (AFJ) and the country’s news organisation said.
Several other journalists were wounded in the blast, including Al Jazeera photographer, Seyyed Nasser Hashemi.
Overall, at least 29 people were killed and 49 wounded in the twin attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.
Afghan TV network TOLOnews identified the journalists killed in the explosion as: Maharram Durrani (Azadi Radio), Ebadullah Hananzai (Azadi Radio), Yar Mohammad Tokhi (TOLOnews cameraman), (Ghazi Rasooli (1TV Journalist), (Nowroz Ali Rajabi (1TV cameraman), Shah Marai (AFP photographer), Saleem Talash (Mashal TV), Ali Saleemi (Mashal TV) and Sabawoon Kakar (Azadi Radio).
🇦🇫 Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai @shahmarai , has been killed. He died in a blast that was targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital pic.twitter.com/MueIlYkSBh
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) April 30, 2018
“This terrorist attack is a war crime and an organised attack on the Afghan media,” the statement by the AFJ and the country’s media read, calling for the government to support the families of the victims and the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council to investigate the incident.
It also said that the industry will mark the day in future in honour of its fallen colleagues.
On social media, many journalists, news organisations and press freedom groups condemned the attack targeting both media and first responders.
The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee described the attack a “crime against humanity” and called for an international investigation into Monday’s attacks.