Officials, relatives and a media watchdog in Afghanistan confirmed Saturday that a suspected bomb blast on a minibus in Kabul had killed a well-known journalist and injured several people.
The violence happened near a Taliban checkpoint in the Afghan capital’s western Dasht-e Barchi area, dominated by members of the minority Shiite Hazara community.
The slain journalist was identified as Hamid Saighani, who worked for the mainstream Ariana television network.
“Yet another journalist killed in Afghanistan,” tweeted Afghanistan Journalists Center, an independent local media monitor, hours after the blast. It noted that Saighani was at least the ninth journalist killed in Afghanistan this year.
Saighani’s wife, Fawzia Wahdat, also a journalist, posted “I lost Hamid” on her Facebook page.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman for the acting Taliban government, tweeted that one person had been killed and two injured. He said an investigation was underway.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack, but Afghan Hazara have for years been the target of deadly violence by the regional Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-Khorasan).
The terror group has intensified bombings and other attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power in mid-August.
Representatives of the acting Taliban government earlier this week claimed that an ongoing counterterror operation has captured around 600 IS-Khorasan militants and killed more than three dozen in the last three months.
Data from the local media group Afghan Journalists Safety Committee says at least 67 journalists were killed in Afghanistan between 2013 and 2020, for which the Taliban is listed as responsible for 27 cases.
It is not known whether Saighani may have been the intended target of Saturday’s attack.