The blast that took place at the Tabyan cultural center in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, sparked reactions inside and outside of Afghanistan.
UNAMA on Twitter condemned the "despicable attack on journalists" in Mazar-e Sharif, saying "Afghan reporters show immense courage and must be protected."
The UN special rapporteur, Richard Bennett, referring to the blast, said:
“This attack on journalists is another blow to freedom of expression in Afghanistan and increased protection is necessary."
The chargé d’affaires of the EU delegation in Afghanistan, Raffaella Iodice, on Twitter condemned the “two attacks in Balkh, Afghanistan of the past days.”
“This violence needs to stop... Journalists risk their lives for their work and have to be protected,” she said. “They are Not a Target!”
The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, also condemned the blast, saying that he is “deeply saddened by the terrorist attack on journalists at the Tabyan Cultural Centre.”
“We believe in the resilience of the Afghan people and their capacity to rebound,” West said.
Meanwhile, journalists called on the Islamic Emirate to provide security for them.
“If the journalists face threats in addition to several other problems, I think they will stop working,” said Mustafa Shahryar, a journalist.
“This is very concerning. We call on the interim government to make a clear mechanism for journalists’ safety,” said Raqeeb Fayaz, a journalist.
But the Ministry of Information and Culture said that security for journalists is provided in all parts of the country.
“Since the Islamic Emirate came to power, we don’t have any murder cases of journalists and this (attack) is the first incident and this happened due to their negligence,” said Mahajar Farahi, deputy Minister of Information and Culture.
This comes as the Afghanistan Independent Journalist’s Association said that 14 journalists were wounded in the Mazar-e-Sharif blast.
“Unfortunately, a blast happened at an event. One of our media colleagues named Hossein Nadiri was martyred and 14 other media workers suffered injuries,” said Farhad Behroz, deputy of the
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