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L Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the shooting of three employees of a channel Afghan television station in Jalalabad (east) on Tuesday, less than three months after the similar murder of one of its presenters, said the American agency SITE, which specializes in monitoring jihadist groups.
"This afternoon, three of our colleagues, young women between the ages of 17 and 20, were shot and killed by gunmen in the city of Jalalabad," Zalmai Latifi told AFP . director of the Enekaas TV channel.
IS claimed responsibility for these assassinations in a statement relayed by the SITE agency on Tuesday evening.
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"Caliphate soldiers targeted three female journalists working for one of the media loyal to the apostate Afghan government," the jihadist group said.
Kayhan Safi, head of the dubbing department at Enekaas TV, where the three victims worked, said the three young women, named Shahnaz, Sadia and Mursal, were killed as they left their office to go home walk.
ISIS previously claimed responsibility for the December assassination of Malalai Maiwand, a television presenter and activist working for Enekaas TV.
She had been shot dead with her driver in Jalalabad on her way to her office.
The jihadist group, although weakened in recent years, maintains a presence in the east of the country, and sometimes claims suicide attacks and assassinations in large cities like Kabul.
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Police said, however, an assailant belonging to the Taliban was arrested.
"We arrested (an assailant) while he was trying to escape driving a rickshaw. His name is Qari Basir and he confessed to leading the attack. He is a member of the Taliban," Juma said. Gul Hemat, the police chief of Nangarhar, the province where the murder of the three young women took place.
A Taliban spokesperson denied any involvement of the group.
Zahir Adel, spokesperson for Nangarhar Hospital, confirmed that the bodies of the three employees were brought to his facility, along with two other women who were injured.
"With these cowardly attacks and by causing terror, the Taliban cannot silence the voices that speak forcefully to defend the Republic and the successes of the past two decades," responded Afghan President
Ashraf Ghani .
Seven media collaborators were killed in 2020, according to the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists (AJSC). Another was also murdered in early 2021.
Three female journalists killed by gunmen in Afghanistan in latest wave of violence
Three female media workers were shot dead in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, government officials said, amid a wave of killings that is spreading fear among professional workers in urban centers. © Sadaqat Ghorzang/AP Afghans carry the body of a woman who was killed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on March 2. Zalmai Latifi, head of local broadcaster Enikas TV, said the three women were recent high school graduates aged between 18 and 20 who worked in the station's dubbing department.
"These targeted killings must stop. The government must fully investigate these attacks on journalists and members of the media, and take all measures to ensure (their) safety, "the AJSC said on Tuesday.
The targeted killings of journalists, judges, doctors, political and religious figures and human rights defenders have become more and more frequent in recent months in
Many incidents go unclaimed.
The Taliban deny any responsibility for the targeted attacks, but the Afghan government and the United States
continue to hold them responsible. Violence has only increased across the country in recent months, despite ongoing peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban. Begun in September in Doha, these negotiations are at a standstill for the moment.
Not a day in Afghanistan goes by without a bomb explosion, attacks on government forces or an assassination attempt.
For its part, the administration of US President
ordered a review of the agreement signed in February 2020 in Doha with the Taliban, which made the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021 conditional on security guarantees from the insurgents and their commitment to cut all ties with jihadist organizations like Al-Qaeda. But the Taliban warned that if Washington were to reverse the deal, they would resume their attacks on US forces, which have since been suspended.
03/03/2021 08:56:18 - Jalalabad (Afghanistan) (AFP) - © 2021 AFP
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View CNN's Fast Facts on Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and learn more about the former American prisoner of war. © U.S. Army/Getty Images In this undated image provided by the US Army, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag. (Photo by US Army via Getty Images) PersonalBirth date: March 28, 1986 Birth place: Sun Valley, IdahoBirth name: Bowe Robert BergdahlFather: Robert BergdahlMother: Jani BergdahlMilitary: US Army, 2008-presentOther FactsTraveled throughout Europe before enlisting in the Army.Worked as a crew member on a sailboat that traveled along the East Coast and to the Caribbean.