Malalai Maiwand, a journalist at Enikass Radio and TV in Nangarhar, was killed with her driver on Thursday morning in an attack by gunmen on their vehicle in Jalalabad city, capital of the province, local officials confirmed.
The incident occurred around 7:10am local time in the Golaye Araban area in PD3 of Jalalabad city, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
“She was on her way to the office when the incident occurred,” Khogyani said, adding that “her driver was also shot and killed in the attack.”
Maiwand was also an activist in the province, said Khogyani.
However, no group, including the Taliban, has immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
“The enemy’s bullets will not bring us to our knees, we are prepared for all kinds of sacrifice, we will fulfill all the aspirations of Malala,” said Hamad, the brother of Malala.
Ten months back Malala in an interview with TOLOnews said that there are threats against her in Nangarhar.
“What was her crime? She was working for the development and prosperity of the women,” said Humaira Rafi, secretary of Nangarhar's provincial council.
“If the Afghan government does not have the ability to detect these networks, this means that we should wait for the end of press freedom in Afghanistan,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, a member of the Journalists’ Safety Committee.
The German embassy in Kabul tweeted: “We strongly condemn these attacks on media representatives and civil society and civilians. They must stop!”
On Monday the EU delegation, NATO and other diplomatic missions based in Kabul in a joint statement said they “strongly condemn” the recent targeted attacks on representatives of the media and religious leaders.
The statement noted that the “Taliban and various terrorist organizations are responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.”
“We consider these not only as savage attacks against Afghan blood, but as an attack on the very peace process in Afghanistan. Recognizing the bravery of Afghanistan’s people, we are confident that these attacks will fail in their intent to silence the diversity of opinions,” it said.
“It has never mattered more for the people of Afghanistan to feel able to express themselves freely and provide their opinions on the peace talks, as well as engage in the process, to achieve an inclusive and sustainable peace. Upholding the free flow of information and holding the perpetrators accountable will benefit everyone who wishes to live in a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan,” the statement said.
Recently, media workers and reporters said they are concerned about their safety after a number of journalists were targeted in the country.
Last month, Elyas Dayee, a Radio Azadi reporter, was killed in a magnetic IED blast in the southern province of Helmand.
A week before this incident, Yama Siawash, a former TOLOnews presenter, was killed in a similar blast in Kabul.