On March 11, 2023, Hosein Naderi, a journalist with the independent Afghan Voice Agency was killed in a bomb attack on a cultural center in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, while reporters had gathered to mark National Journalists Day.
AVA editor-in-chief Abbas Hoseini confirmed the death of Naderi, who focused on news in Balkh, in a phone call with CPJ. A security guard at the cultural center was also killed in the attack.
The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it targeted journalists “working in agencies involved in the war and instigation against IS.”
A total of 16 journalists were injured in the explosion, including nine who received serious injuries with some suffering hearing loss, according to two of those journalists, who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal by the Taliban and IS.
The blast followed a suicide bombing in Mazar-e-Sharif for which the Islamic State claimed credit, which killed the provincial governor and two others.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via messaging app.