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Taliban abducts 6 radio journalists in eastern Afghanistan

News Agencies | Updated on: 8 September 2019, 12:40 IST

At least six mediapersons, working for private and government media organisations here, were abducted by the Taliban in Zurmat district in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia.

Quoting sources, Tolo News reported that the journalists, working for radio and TV news companies that broadcast news in Pashto and Dari languages, were abducted while travelling to Paktia to attend a media workshop on Friday.

Meanwhile, the group has reportedly claimed that it kidnapped the journalists "mistakenly" and promised to release them soon.

Afghanistan was the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist in 2018. While the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported 13 deaths, the International Federation of Journalists said 16 journalists were killed last year in the country, Al Jazeera reported.

In June, the Taliban issued a threat to Afghan media, saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop broadcasting what they describe as government propaganda against the armed group.

The recent incident has come at a time when US President Donald Trump called off peace negotiations with the Taliban after the group claimed responsibility for the Kabul car bombing which killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

In a series of tweets, Trump said he also cancelled a "secret meeting" with the Taliban representatives and a separate meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David on Sunday.


First published: 8 September 2019, 12:40 IST