Nemat Rawan was a popular talk show host with the country's leading broadcaster, Tolo News.
A high-profile Afghan television journalist was shot dead in Kandahar city Thursday, officials said, a day after the Taliban warned the media against "biased reporting."
Nemat Rawan was "assassinated by unknown gunmen," Kandahar city police spokesman Jamal Nasir Barekzai said.
He was a popular talk show host with the country's leading broadcaster, Tolo News, before joining the ministry of finance last month as a communications specialist.
Nemat Rawan during a Tolo News talk show. File
"Heartbreaking to hear that a friend and former colleague Nemat Rawan was shot dead in Kandahar city today," Lotfullah Najafizada, head of Tolo News, posted on Twitter.
The Taliban, blamed for a wave of assassinations of journalists in recent months, denied they were behind his murder.
"The assassination of Nemat Rawan... is not linked to the Islamic Emirate," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said on Twitter.
On Wednesday, however, a Taliban spokesman warned that media workers who carry out "biased reporting" would be "held responsible."
Rawan, in his 20s, was married and had one three-year-old son. President Ashraf Ghani said Rawan's murder was a "terrorist attack" by the Taliban.
"The terrorists will not be able to silence freedom of expression and weaken our countrymen's belief in a bright future," he said in a statement.
The body of Nemat Rawan lies in morgue at a hospital in Kandahar. AP
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the country's peace council, condemned the Taliban's threat against the media and "any attempts to silence Afghan journalists."
Members of Afghanistan's educated class — including journalists, activists and judges — have for months been the target of bombings and shootings, forcing many to go into hiding or leave the country.
The killings have escalated since peace talks began last year between the Afghan government and the Taliban, sparking fears that the insurgents are eliminating perceived opponents as negotiations stall.
Relatives carry the coffin of Nemat Rawan in Kandahar. AFP
At least 11 Afghan journalists were killed in 2020, with four more reportedly murdered this year, according to a recent toll from Amnesty International.
In early March, three female media workers were gunned down in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
Around 1,000 Afghan media workers have left their jobs in the past six months, an Afghan journalists' safety committee said recently.
The police official blamed the Taliban for the attack who have a strong presence in the area, especially in the Pasaband district. The Taliban have not commented on the attack in Ghor.
The Taliban however claimed the attack was actually a coordinated insurgent assault on the checkpoint where the shooting took place, killing over two dozen militiamen, according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The column about Afghanistan and the shredded social and economic fabric due to war paints a bleak picture. It paints hopelessness and gloom and makes one wonder about the trivialities that causes us to fret - which new car to buy, which school is best for the kid, etc. While here in Afghanistan our counterparts have to think of war and the Taliban, the tussle for the presidential chair and the ensuing power and security for life and family (“New truce could change Afghan blues,” May 23, Gulf Today).
Gunmen disguised as police attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, killing 16 people including two newborn babies, their mothers from a maternity clinic run by the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders.
The visit stems from the brotherly relations between the two countries and their two brotherly peoples.
Vladimir Putin has fallen down the stairs at his official residence and soiled himself while continuing to suffer from cancer, a Telegram channel which claims links to his bodyguards has suggested, Daily Mail reported.
A Jordanian policewoman saved a young man from committing suicide from a bridge in the capital Amman. The policewoman appeared begging him to abandon the idea of ending his life, according to a video circulating on social media.
A man contacted another via the “Snapchat” application to buy a valuable watch from him, and after agreeing on the price, the first transferred to the watch owner Dhs80,000, while the latter did not deliver the watch and delayed returning its price.