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Journalists concerned over bid to restrict media coverage in Afghanistan

Govt. claims April 30 attacker used media resource to penetrate attack site

KABUL (By Baseer Hotak) — Following twin bomb explosions in Kabul’s post area of Shash Darak neighborhood,  on April 30 which killed more than 25 people including nine journalists, the Afghan Government has restricted the movements of journalists from coverage.

Afghan security officials claimed that the April 30 attack, later claimed by ISIS-K or Daaesh Afghanistan was carried out by an attacker disguising as a journalist and using fake Press Card to reach the diplomatic area of Kabul.

Afghan officials claimed that the attacker was using a fake video camera and as several journalists arrived at the scene of the first explosion, the suicide bomber exploded himself.

While the April 30 attack has terrified journalists in Afghanistan it has also alarmed the security forces that terrorists might once again disguise as a journalist could reach sensitive areas. This fear has created new restrictions and serious condition for all media persons in Afghanistan who are no unable to give independent coverage to the events and tragic incidents.

The new conditions have now virtually restricted the media persons from covering even rugular events and coverage of forthcoming elections campaign in Afghanistan. The journalists have refused to accept the Government version that suicide bombers had actually disguided himself as a media person and fear that security forces are trying to restrict the movement of journalists.

Afghan journalists and researchers say that since CCTV cameras were already installed in the are and if true that attacker disguised himself as a journalists then why the government was not releasing the footage of CCTV cameras to satisfy the journalists.

Several journalist have expressed fear that by claiming the alleged use of the camera by terrorist the Government was in fact restricting the movements of journalists thus making it impossible for them to perform their profession duties.

Earlier an NGO, Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan had launched a protest with Afghan Government for hiding facts from media and restricting journalists and refusing to give Government version on events.

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