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BBC reporter and famed photographer among 30 killed in Afghanistan

By Euan McKirdy and Ehsan Popalzai, CNN
April 30, 2018

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)Nine journalists were among 30 people killed in a series of attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including a BBC reporter and a well-known photographer who had written of the dangers of reporting in the Afghan capital.

Eight journalists were killed in suicide bombings in the capital, Kabul. Shah Marai of Agence France Presse was among a group of journalists who died when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State.

In a separate incident, Ahmad Shah, a reporter with the BBC's Afghan service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Khost province, the BBC said. Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, said Shah was on his way home when the attack took place.

Shah Marai of Agence France Presse was among a group of journalists who died when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State.
The first blast happened at around at 8 a.m. local time in the Shashdarak area of the city, where the US embassy and Afghan government buildings are located, prompting journalists to rush to the scene.

The second explosion came as the attacker, posing as a cameraman, detonated explosives as journalists huddled around the scene, Kabul City Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told CNN.

In a statement issued via the social media app Telegram, ISIS said a "martyrdom brother" blew his explosive vest up among a group of "apostates" and killed and wounded a number of them. The group named the first bomber as Qaqaa al-Kurdi and the second attacker as Khalil al-Qurshi. ISIS did not provide any evidence for the claim.

Eight journalists, including at least one woman, died in the blasts, according to Sharifi.
SharifiIn a tweet Monday, AFP's Global News Director, Michele Leridon, honored Marai for his "extraordinary strength, courage and generosity" and praised his "consummate professionalism" and "sensitivity" during his 15 years covering the Afghan conflict for the news agency.

AFP said the death of its "treasured colleague" Shah Marai in Monday's twin blast in Kabul was "a devastating blow".

Leridon sent "condolences to the families of other journalists killed in this terrible attack".
A further 45 people were injured in the two incidents, and have been taken to city hospitals, according to Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahid Majroh.

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Article posted on 30/04/2018

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