On March 2, the ISIS gunned down three female Afghanistan journalists who used to translate Indian and Turkish dramas to local languages. Three of them died while the fourth one was severely injured and currently lodged in hospital for treatment.
While talking to AFP, Zalmai Latifi, director at the TV station, said four female media workers were attacked in two separate incidents after they left the office. He said, “They are all dead. They were going home from the office on foot when they were shot.”
According to the SITE Intelligence Group, an American NGO which tracks the online activity of extremists and jihadist organizations alleged that the attack was targeted towards the employees at the Privately-owned Enikas TV station in the eastern city of Jalalabad. All victims were aged between 18 and 20. In the last six months, 15 media professionals have been killed in Afghanistan, including these three journalists.
They used to translate Indian and Turkish dramas
Shokrullah Pasoon, the news editor at the TV station, told Al Jazeera that the three women used to dub Indian and Turkish dramas in Dari and Pashto that are local languages of Afghanistan. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, has condemned the killing. He said, “Attacks on innocent compatriots, especially women, are contrary to the teachings of Islam, Afghan culture and the spirit of peace.”
The three victims of yesterday’s attacks in Jalalabad. pic.twitter.com/PLMR1gjO9E— Lotfullah Najafizada (@LNajafizada) March 3, 2021
According to journalist Lotfullah Najafizada, the three women killed were named Mursal Waheedi, Sadia Sadat and Shehnaz Raufi.
Series of attack in the war-torn country
As per reports, peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government last year with the intervention of the United States. NATO troop numbers are also decreasing in the country, and only 9,000 of them are left. Former President of the United States had ordered last year to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May 2021.
However, since the talks began, Afghanistan has seen a series of targeted attacks that have led to increasing fear among women working in the urban regions.
In a similar attack in December 2020, ISIS terrorists had gunned down Malalai Maiwand in Jalalabad. She was Enikas Radio and TV presenter in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Her driver was also killed in the attack. In an attack in January 2021, 28-year-old Bismellah Adel Aimaq, the editor-in-chief of Sada-e-Ghor (Voice of Ghor) radio station, was killed near Firoz Koh city in the province of Ghor. Two female judges working for Afghan Supreme Court were also killed in Kabul in January 2021.
Shaharzad Akbar, head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, condemned the attack and said, “Afghan women have been targeted and killed too often. his must stop. Stop killing civilians and destroying (Afghanistan’s) future.”
Horrific. Afghan media community has suffered too much. Afghan women have been targeted & killed too often. Beautiful Ningarhar has experienced almost daily violence for so long. Afghanistan has bled for too long. This must stop. Stop killing civilians & destroying Afg’s future. https://t.co/QhQTgq6CoM— Shaharzad Akbar (@ShaharzadAkbar) March 2, 2021
The US embassy in Kabul issued a statement in which they said, “These attacks are meant to intimidate, they are intended to make reporters cower. The culprits hope to stifle freedom of speech in a nation where the media has flourished during the past 20 years. This cannot be tolerated.”