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US News Afghanistan: two employees of a television channel killed by a bomb

00:55  31 may  2020
00:55  31 may  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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KABUL: A roadside bomb killed a journalist and driver after struck a minivan carrying employees of a private Afghan television channel in Kabul on An Afghan security forces member inspects a bus carrying local TV station employees that hit a roadside bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan , Saturday, May

Last year two employees of Khurshid TV were killed and two were injured in a similar attack. Taliban and other Islamist insurgents have repeatedly targeted Afghan journalists, killing 15 in 2018, the deadliest year yet for the Afghan media, according to the media freedom group Reporters Without

  Afghanistan: deux employés d'une chaîne de télévision tués par une bombe © Provided by Le Point

Two employees of an Afghan television channel were killed Saturday by the explosion of a bomb placed by the roadside in Kabul , when the government said it was ready to start negotiations with the Taliban.

"An economic journalist and the driver of the minibus died when the vehicle carrying 15 employees of Khurshid TV was struck," Jawed Farhad, the director of this private television channel, told AFP.

A rare three-day ceasefire, initiated by the Taliban and ending on Tuesday, has reduced violence across the country. The insurgents have since resumed attacks against Afghan forces, but with less intensity than usual.

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A roadside bomb struck a minivan carrying employees of a private Afghan television channel in Kabul on Saturday, killing a The interior ministry also confirmed the attack, saying the minivan had been targeted. For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

In our news wrap Monday, three U.S. service members and an American contractor died in Afghanistan . Pentagon officials said they were killed by an

On Saturday evening, the government announced that it had released 710 new Taliban prisoners since Friday, in a process which will see 2,000 released from prison in exchange for the cease-fire. 900 Taliban had already been released Tuesday by the authorities.

The insurgents said they were not responsible for the explosion on Saturday, which has not yet been claimed.

The government has condemned an "odious" attack, according to a press release.

A few hours before the attack, the government official in charge of talks, Abdullah Abdullah, had announced that his team was ready to start peace negotiations with the Taliban "at any time".

"The announcement of a cease-fire, a reduction in violence and the exchange of prisoners set the stage for a good start," he said at a press conference.

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American service members were killed and two others were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in southern The identities of the two killed service members were withheld pending notification of the next of kin. It was not clear which branch of the military they were

The use of the bomb comes as the US involvement in Afghanistan heads into its 16th year in the fall, and days after Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar, a US Special Forces operator, was killed in the same region. "The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province

Mr. Abdullah, who heads a council in charge of negotiations created by Kabul, however clarified that a new cease-fire was to be established during the negotiations.

According to the Interior Ministry, the attack on Saturday targeted Kurshid TV.

"An attack on journalists is an attack on freedom of expression (...) The Afghan government is seriously investigating," said Feroz Bashari, a government spokesperson.

Six other employees of the chain were injured, he added.

This is the second attack on employees of Khurshid TV in less than a year.

In August 2019, two passers-by were killed in the unclaimed explosion of a magnetic mine, or "sticky bomb", attached to a minibus in the chain.

Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, who have to cover the war and are sometimes targeted themselves.

A "united" government

The reduction in Taliban violence is raising timid hopes when the peace process seemed to be on the brink.

Afghanistan: 900 Taliban released, Kabul hopes for an extension of the cease-fire

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An Afghan official inspects the wreckage of a bus which carried employees of an Afghan television station and was bombed , in Kabul, Afghanistan May 30, 2020. Last year, two employees of Khurshid TV were killed and two wounded in a similar attack.

An Afghan employee has killed one US citizen and wounded another before being shot dead at a compound believed to house a CIA station, officials say. The BBC's Paul Wood in Kabul says that it is unclear if the gunman was a Taliban recruit or if the shooting happened as a result of a personal

The insurgents had indeed intensified their offensives against the Afghan forces since the signature, at the end of February in Doha, of an American-Taliban agreement which envisages the departure of all the American foreign troops from Afghanistan by mid-2021. In return, the Taliban made commitments to fight terrorism, and promised to open unprecedented direct peace negotiations with the Kabul government.

Kabul also helped advance the process by releasing hundreds of prisoners recently.

The insurgents indeed demand the exchange of 5,000 Taliban prisoners for 1,000 members of the Afghan forces before the opening of negotiations.

These discussions were scheduled to start on March 10, but have been postponed.

Mr. Abdullah has been appointed head of a negotiating council in an agreement to resolve a dispute with his rival, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Arrived second during the presidential election in September 2019, tainted with accusations of fraud, Mr. Abdullah had declared himself the winner, plunging the country into a political crisis.

According to Matin Bek, a member of the government's negotiating team, taking up Mr. Abdullah is a step forward. "We were accused of not being united, now we are," he told AFP, adding that his team met every week.

"Due to recent events, we expect the process to start sometime in June," he added.

The opening of these talks is part of the conditions enshrined in the agreement signed between the insurgents and Washington for the withdrawal of foreign troops within 14 months.

05/30/2020 19:59:33 - Kabul (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

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Kabul, Jun 05 (Reuters) - There is no sign of a stable peace process in Afghanistan. The United States carried out two air strikes against Taliban extremists for the first time in a long time. This had planned attacks on Afghan government troops, a spokesman for the US military said. One attack was flown in the province of Farah in the west of the country, a second in Kandahar in the south. There was initially no information about possible victims.

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