When reporters are killed in line of duty

Samim Faramarz, 28, and his cameraperson, Ramiz Ahmadi, 23, were among the first few journalists at the scene of the suicide attack in Kabul on September 5. As they finished the first broadcast about the explosion at a local sports club, Faramarz described the grim situation to his viewers. “I can smell blood here,” he said on live television. A few minutes later, another suicide explosion, at the very location, killed Farmarz and Ahmadi, adding them to the total casualty numbers for the day. The two are among the dozens of local journalists either injured or killed in the country this year. Earlier this year, a similar attack involving a second explosion, a few minutes after the press arrived to cover a suicide attack, killed nine Afghan journalists. The attacker was disguised as a journalist and was carrying explosives in his camera. That apart, at least two other journalists have been assassinated in Khost and Kandahar provinces this year. This is the fourth time in two years that the TOLOnews channel, the employer of Farmarz and Ahmadi, has lost mediapersons to brutal and targeted attacks. In 2016, seven staff members were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed into their vehicle just outside their studio. “Samim and Ramiz represented what is best in Afghans and Afghanistan. They were young, fearless and thoughtful,” stated Saad Mohseni, the director of MOBY group, which operates TOLOnews. As security in Afghanistan remains unstable, journalists who often find themselves close to areas of sensitive attacks are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Despite the government’s efforts at peace negotiations with the Taliban, Afghan journalists continue to face threats and attacks from multiple terror groups — including the Islamic State — as well as local powerbrokers and warlords.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/when-reporters-are-killed-in-line-of-duty/article24959143.ece

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