An Afghan radio journalist has been shot dead in a car ambush in the central province of Ghor, making him the fifth media worker to be killed in two months in Afghanistan.
Besmullah Adel Aimaq, editor-in-chief of Voice of Ghor radio, was shot and killed en route to Firoz Koh city, the capital of Ghor province, on Friday, said the governor’s spokesman, Aref Aber.
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Aimaq’s murder follows a similar pattern in recent months, where prominent Afghans have been ambushed by gunmen or killed in bomb attacks.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.
Series of targeted killings
Targeted killings of prominent figures, including journalists, politicians and rights activists, have become more common in recent months as violence surges in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks with the Taliban.
Last month, Afghan journalist Rahmatullah Nekzad was murdered in the eastern city of Ghazni.
He was shot dead by unknown attackers on his way to a mosque near his house, according to reports.
In November last year, Radio Liberty reporter Aliyas Dayee was killed in a car bomb attack in southern Lashkar Gah city.
Much of the violence has been unleashed by the Taliban as they attempt to gain leverage in peace talks, which opened in September in Qatar’s capital, Doha, but are currently on a break until early January.
According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP) released in December 2020, “the number of journalists singled out for murder in reprisal for their work more than doubled” last year.
“Globally, at least 30 journalists were killed in 2020; 21 of those were singled out for murder in retaliation for their work … while others were killed in combat or crossfire or on another assignment that turned dangerous,” said the report.
Afghanistan was high on the list of countries with a significant number of such murders.