A female journalist has been shot dead in eastern Afghanistan, the latest victim of a spate of assassinations across the country. Malala Maiwand was on her way to work in Jalalabad on Thursday when gunmen opened fire on her vehicle, her driver, Mohammad Tahir, was also killed. No group has officially said it carried out the attack.
The killings come after NATO and the EU issued a statement condemning recent targeted killings in Afghanistan. Maiwand, a journalist at Enikass TV and Radio, was travelling to work when her vehicle was attacked by unidentified gunmen. The provincial governor’s spokesman, Attaollah Khogiyani, told local media the assailants had fled the area. Maiwand, also a civil society activist, had previously spoken about the challenges of being a female journalist in the country.
Journalists, activists and political figures have all been among the victims of a recent rise in targeted killings. The violence comes as talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban are continuing in Doha, the two sides have made some progress on preliminary issues but are yet to begin discussing a ceasefire or power-sharing agreement.