New York, May 17, 2017–The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns today’s attack on a state television station in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The four-hour attack on the Jalalabad office of National Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA) killed at least six people and injured at least 18 others, according to media reports.
The Islamic State group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Site Intel Group, which monitors websites used by violent extremist groups. Four RTA employees were killed, Ilias Alami, operations manager for the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, a press freedom group, told CPJ.
“This attack is a brazen assault not just on one television station but on the entire media in Afghanistan, which is struggling against forces that want to control the flow of information,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “Afghan authorities should do everything in their power to prevent these attacks.”
RTA did not immediately respond to calls or emails. Police said four attackers and two guards were also killed, and that one assailant was arrested, according to TOLO News. Afghanistan ranked seventh in CPJ’s 2016 Impunity Index, which highlights countries where journalists are killed and their killers go free.