Blasts kill children, journalists in Kandahar

Afghan journalists are seen after a blast in Kabul Afghanistan

Officials have acknowledged that security is a major concern because the Taliban and other militant groups control or contest large swathes of the country.

In just the last week of April, at least 11 Afghan soldiers and police officers were killed on April 24 in separate Taliban attacks in Farah and Ghazni provinces; Taliban militants attacks in western Afghanistan killed 18 soldiers and police officers on April 23; a suicide bombing in Kabul claimed by the Islamic State extremist group killed 60 people on April 22.

The Afghan branch of ISIS (also known as Daesh) was quick to claim responsibility for the attack. The statement did not say anything about specifically targeting journalists.

He was killed yesterday, along with at least five media colleagues, when a suicide bomber detonated himself among the crowd of journalists who had arrived to cover an earlier blast.

Afghan security forces are seen at the site of the second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018. "Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to justice", adding the need of the hour to bring the assailants to justice.

AFP photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among the dead. As well as AFP and Radio Azadi, which lost two employees in the Kabul attack, local stations Tolo News, 1TV and Mashal TV also lost staff. The BBC confirmed the death in a statement on Twitter.

He left behind 6 children, including a newborn daughter.

"We can only honor the extraordinary strength, courage, and generosity of a photographer who covered often traumatic, horrific events with sensitivity and consummate professionalism", Leridon said. America's not in Afghanistan to win.

Before today's attacks, at least 35 journalists were killed in direct relation to their work in Afghanistan since 1992, according to CPJ research.

Last year, Afghanistan was ranked the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists by Reporters without Borders. He described the day after the Taliban fled the capital, recalling, "It was like people were coming out from the shadows into the light of life again".

Ahmad Shah was killed in Khost city while he was on his way home, journalists told Tolo News.

"Independent media is a cornerstone of democracy", he said. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others.

"I taught myself photography", Marai said in a company profile in 2015.

But as the conflict has intensified, so has the toll it has taken on Afghan media.

The legislative polls had to be delayed due to a host of issues - lack of security, delays in electoral reforms, lack of donors' funding and disagreement on how to mention nationality and ethnicity on the new national identity cards.

"There have been strikes against their financial networks, and then President Ashraf Ghani came out and said we're willing to talk, to negotiate and it put them on their backfoot". Here, one of his photos from December 2016 shows a man through broken glass after a Taliban attack killed eight people in Kabul.

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