Twenty-nine people were killed and dozens more were injured in two bombings in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, April 30th. Nine journalists and photographers were among those who died. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty lost two journalists, Abadullah Hananzai and Sabawoon Kakar. Maharram Durrani, who was set to begin working for RFE/RL in May, was also killed.
The first explosion was reportedly carried out by an attacker on a motorbike. A second followed about 15 minutes later after a crowd, including several reporters, had gathered at the scene. The Islamic State [ISIS] terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States strongly condemns “the senseless and barbaric attack in Kabul that killed 29 people and wounded dozens more, including several brave journalists and media professionals. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who were injured and killed, and we mourn all those who lost their lives.”
Secretary Pompeo praised the courage and dedication of the journalists who were killed and injured and their colleagues who take great risks to carry out the mission of a free and independent press.
“The independent media is a cornerstone of democracy,” said Secretary Pompeo. Despite horrific attacks, he said, “the vibrant media landscape that has developed in Afghanistan will endure, in large part due to those journalists and media professionals who tragically died... but whose courageous and steadfast work helped lay the foundation for Afghanistan’s thriving and resilient independent media.”
The Secretary of State said, “The international community’s commitment to the Afghan people and a lasting peace in Afghanistan will not be shaken by such attacks.”
“The United States, along with our Afghan and international partners, is committed to defeating ISIS in Afghanistan, which has claimed responsibility for this attack. We stand with the people, the independent media, and government of Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the Afghan people’s efforts to achieve peace, security, and democracy for their country.”