3 Dead, 30 Injured As Explosion Rips Through Award Ceremony Honouring Afghan Journalists in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh

An injured man lies down after a bomb blast in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province, in Afghanistan on Saturday morning. (Credit- AP photo)

Guess what? An explosion ripped through a function which was meant to award journalists in the Balkh province of Afghanistan and at least three journalists were killed, and 30 were wounded.


Go deeper:

  • The explosion took place at the Tibian Farhang (cultural) centre in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of the province during a ceremony honouring journalists.
  • According to the cultural centre connected to Iran’s Islamic government, “three people were killed and 30 others, including a significant number of journalists, were injured in this incident.”
  • The ministry of Interior of the Taliban confirmed the explosion in Mazar-r-Sharif. It stated that one person was killed and eight others were injured in the incident.
  • The blast took place at a gathering of journalists at around 11 am, Taliban police spokesman Mohammad Asif Waziri said. The explosion occurred while a group of children were singing the anthem, minutes after a Taliban official spoke. A Taliban police spokesman in Balkh said that three children were among the injured.
  • The injured had been taken to a hospital and Taliban security forces had arrived at the scene.
  • A journalist based in Balkh, Mohammad Fardin Nowrozi, told the Reuters news agency that he and other journalists were injured in the explosion, but did not provide further details.
  • Wounded journalists also included Najeeb Faryad, 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 the Associated Press news agency.
  • TOLOnews, Shamshad TV and Pajhwok News also separately said their reporters were wounded in the blast.
  • No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zoom out: Afghanistan’s Free Media Support Organization (Nai) responded to the attack and said that the incident showed a lack of immunity for journalists in Afghanistan.

  • They said that the Taliban are paying little attention to ensuring the safety of journalists. Nai has accused the relevant institutions of failing to disseminate comprehensive information related to the attack on a gathering of journalists.
  • Within the last three days, this was the second explosion in Balkh province, the first one was a suicide attack that killed the governor of Balkh, Mullah Dawood Muzammil, and the second explosion targeted journalists’ gatherings.
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