Organizations supporting the media on Thursday strongly condemned the attack against National Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) in Jalalabad, Nangarhar, and said the assault was a clear breach of international humanitarian law.
President Ashraf Ghani also condemned the attack and said it was an “attack on free speech.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that the attack was a brazen assault not just on the television station but on the entire media in Afghanistan, “which is struggling against forces that want to control the flow of information."
CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney said: "Afghan authorities should do everything in their power to prevent these attacks."
On Wednesday, four RTA employees and two security force members were killed after five Daesh insurgents stormed the TV station.
A fierce gunfight lasted four hours before four insurgents were killed. A fifth was arrested, police reported on Wednesday.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) along with its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) also condemned the attack in a joint statement and demanded immediate and concrete security measures to protect journalists and media in Afghanistan.
In the statement, Samandar Khan, the AIJA president, said: “The AIJA condemns the attack in the strongest terms and we are working closely with officials to support journalists and media workers at the RTA. RTA Nangarhar is a national media station serving not only military or security bases but civilians too.”
He added: “The issue of serious threats to media and journalists in Nangarhar was frequently shared with state authorities, but they didn’t take the protection of journalists and media seriously. The AIJA is calling on the government again to take strong measures for better security of journalists and media in the province.”
The IFJ in turn also condemned the attack and said: “The IFJ and our affiliate AIJA has been demanding security for journalists and media in Afghanistan but the responses have been far from sufficient. This shocking attack serves to highlight the dangers in which the media are operating in Afghanistan, which is one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists.”
Thirteen journalists were killed in Afghanistan last year, according to IFJ statistics while a recent index stated that Afghanistan was the second worst country in the world, next to Syria, for journalists.