Ezatullah Bik, a member of the provincial council in the western province of Ghor, was killed in clashes with the National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces on Thursday, the NDS said in a statement.
The clashes took place after the NDS forces attempted to arrest Bik who was a suspect in the killing of both Bismillah Adil Aimaq, a local journalist, and Abdul Rahman Atishan, the deputy provincial council of the province, the statement said.
“Instead of surrendering, Bik started fighting with NDS forces and was killed,” the statement said, adding: “An NDS officer was also killed during the clashes and another was wounded.”
Earlier, Hamidullah Natiqi, a member of the provincial council of Ghor, said that "three of Bik's security guards were also wounded in the clashes."
Bik's family and local security officials have not yet commented on the clash.
On January 1, Bismillah Adil Aimaq, a journalist and civil society activist in Ghor, was killed in an attack by unknown armed men in the city of Feroz Koh, the center of the province.
Adil was head of a local radio station, Radio Sada-e-Ghor, and was killed in Dara-e-Taimoor village, on the outskirts of Feroz Koh.
On December 15, Abdul Rahman, deputy head of the provincial council, was killed by a magnetic IED blast, and another council member was wounded.
The incident occurred in Feroz Koh, Ghor's capital. An IED was placed on the vehicle and exploded, a council member reported.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for these incidents.
Violence against journalists and media has increased in Afghanistan in recent months.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center published a report saying that in 2020 Daesh was responsible for killing two anchors, the Taliban was responsible for killing one reporter and a cameraman, and unknown armed men were responsible for killing two anchors.
According to the report, the perpetrators of some of the attacks have not been identified so far.
The report says that 112 incidents of violence against journalists happened in 2020 in the country. The report adds that 19 journalists and media workers were wounded last year.
50 journalists were killed worldwide in 2020, according to a report of abusive treatment and violence against journalists, published last week by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
While the number of journalists killed in countries at war continues to fall, more are being murdered in countries not at war, the report said.