Unidentified gunmen shot dead local journalist in Southern Zabul province

Unidentified gunmen shot dead local journalist in Southern Zabul province

October 17, 2016

Qalat: An Afghan journalist was shot dead in Afghanistan's Southern province of Zabul on Sunday afternoon, the latest in a long list of unsolved murders of media workers in the country.

Mohammad Yaqub Sharafat, 23, was shot in head and neck with a silenced pistol by unidentified gunmen while going home from office in Resalee area of Qalat city, capital of the southern Zabul province.

Local residents took Sharafat to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Besides being a journalist at the state-owned Afghanistan National Radio Television (RTA), Sharafat was also serving as freelance reporter with some local media including ’ZabulTimes’.

Gen. Mirwais Noorzai, head of Zabul police head quarter, said the perpetrators have managed to escape, but he assured that the police is investigating the incident and will bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. But local journalists previously received warning from the Talbian militants.

Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) condemns this heinous act in the strongest terms and calls for the government to launch an urgent and proper investigation.

AFJC's records shows that the attack of Sharafat brought to more than 64 the number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan since falling of the Taliban regime in 2001, 2016, with 11 dead makes this year the deadliest year for media community in Afghanistan.

'Unfortunately, the culture of impunity that is behind these attacks are yet to be addressed by the Afghan authorities despite their repeated boasts and promises, we can say, almost all of the suspects yet brought to justice.’ Said Ahmad Quraishi, executive director of AFJC

In January, seven media workers of Tolo TV channel were killed and about 16 others wounded after a Taliban suicide car bombing struck a minibus in Afghan capital Kabul. a week later, an RTA journalist murdered by unidentified gunmen in Eastern Nangarhar province and on June two NPR journalists killed on assignment in southern Helmand province.