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Watchdog demands a framework for security of journalists

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AT-KABUL: NAI, a non-government watchdog, called on the government to prepare regulations for journalists’ safety “as soon as possible”, a demand after a deadly suicide attack that killed nine reporters in Kabul.

The organization said Tuesday that condolence messages by the government officials were not enough to stop the repetition of such incidents.

Mojib Khalvatgar, head of the NAI watchdog asked for “proper investigation” over Monday’s suicide attack on the journalists and punishment of the perpetrators.

“We want the government to soon finalize the regulation for journalists’ safety so we the media servants be sure about the existence of at least a regulation,” Khalvatgar said.

A suicide bomber targeted a group of journalists gathered Monday morning to cover an earlier attack in the heavily-secure Shash Darak area in the Police District 9, killing nine journalists including three of the Radio Azadi one of whom was a lady.

Interior ministry said that totally 30 people were killed and 50 more wounded, five of them reporters and cameramen.

Sabawoon Kakar, EbadollahHannanzai and MahramDorrani were working for the Radio Azadi that were killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, a BBC correspondent in Khost province, Ahmad Shah was gunned down by unknown gunmen Monday afternoon in Khost city, the provincial capital.

Prior to this incident, unknown gunmen shot dead Abdul Mannan Arghand, a local correspondent for the Kabul News broadcaster in Kandahar province.

Attacks against journalists were internationally condemned, with the United Nations calling the attacks as “war crimes”.

The culture ministry said that it was working on a mechanism to provide journalists with safety.

“We will hold joint sessions with the security officials and the journalists’ federation. We will make a mechanism with the help of journalists and media outlets for their safety,” said Fazel Sangcharaki, deputy culture minister for publication.