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President, Media Advocates Condemn Attack on Reporter in Helmand

Kabul (BNA) Elias Daee, Radio Azadi reporter, was martyred in a magnetic IED blast in the southern province of Helmand on Thursday morning, according to Omar Zwak, spokesman for Helmand governor.   Zwak said the incident happened in police district 1 (PD1) of Lashkargah city.   No group has claimed reasonability for the attack so far.

This comes as early last week on Saturday, three people, including former TOLOnews presenter Yama Siawash, were killed in an explosion in the Makrorayan-e-Char area in Kabul’s PD9.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a statement condemned the attack, saying that enemies of Afghanistan assassinated Elyas Daei, Da Azadi Radio journalist by an IED in Lashkargah of Helmand in an attempt to hide their heinous crimes and to silence the expressive voice of media.

President Ashraf Ghani strongly denounced the terrorist attack and said terrorist groups by committing such heinous crimes and attacks cannot strict the freedom of expression as the legitimate right of our citizens for which they have gone through immense hardship and paid sacrifices to achieve.

The president stressed that the government is fully committed to government is fully committed to preserving and expanding the freedom of expression.

President Ghani offered his deepest sympathies to the family of Elyas Daei and Afghan media and wished speedy recovery for his brother and others who sustained injuries in the incident.

Meanwhile, journalists gathered in Lashkargah, the center of Helmand province, and also in Kabul to express their concerns about what they described it the systematic murders of Afghan journalists. Dayee’s brother was wounded in the blast.

“Violence has increased against journalists since 2001. The southern zone has given a lot of sacrifices. Every year, we have martyrs. This year, too, we had some incidents,” said Sami Ghairatmal, head of NAI media organization in the south.

“Those who directly or indirect target the journalists indicate that such elements do not believe in freedom of the press, therefore they are put the life of the journalists to danger,” said Jawed Tanvir, a journalist in Helmand.

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