ISIS says it carried out bombing of TV van in Kabul

Attack on Saturday killed a reporter and a technician of the private Khurshid TV station

A wreckage of a bus which carried employees of an Afghan television station and was bombed is seen in Kabul, Afghanistan May 30, 2020. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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The Afghan affiliate of ISIS claimed responsibility for a bombing in Kabul that killed an Afghan journalist and a technician in minibus carrying employees of a local television station on Saturday.

In a statement on an ISIS-affiliate website, the group said the attack was against a bus carrying employees of Khurshid TV, a private station it described as “loyal to the Afghan apostate government”.

At least seven people were wounded in the evening rush hour attack. Pictures showed a white minibus with extensive damage to its front.

"Our colleagues Mir Wahed Shah, an economic reporter, and Shafiq Amiri, an employee in the technical department, were martyred in the incident," said Mohammad Rafi Rafiq Sediqi, chief executive of the Khurshid TV station.

The United States, European Union and Nato condemned the attack.

In August last year, two passersby were killed when a "sticky bomb" – a type of homemade explosive attached to vehicles with magnets – struck a Khurshid TV van in an unclaimed attack.

ISIS, which battles government forces and Taliban militants, has targeted the media before. The deadliest attack came in 2018, when the group killed nine journalists from various news organisations, including AFP's chief Afghanistan photographer Shah Marai, in another Kabul blast.

The Taliban and other Islamist insurgents have repeatedly targeted Afghan journalists, killing 15 in 2018, the deadliest year yet for the Afghan media, according to the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

In 2016, a Taliban suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying employees of Tolo TV, the country's largest private broadcaster, killing seven journalists.

The Taliban, who were ousted from power by US-led forces in 2001, said Tolo was producing propaganda for the US military and Western-backed Afghan government.