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Afghan TV Bus Bombed In Kabul, Killing Two

FILE: The site of suicide attack against a minibus carrying employees of Afghan TV channel TOLO which killed seven in Kabul in January 2016.

KABUL -- Two people were killed and at least three others wounded in a blast targeting media workers in Kabul, Afghan officials say.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that a magnetic explosive device attached to a bus carrying employees of the Afghan television station Khurshid TV blew up during the evening rush hour on August 4.

The bus driver and a pedestrian were killed, Rahimi said, while two Khurshid TV employees and a second passerby were wounded in the blast.

Samiullah Aminy, the news director with Khurshid TV, confirmed that a cameraman and an audio presenter were wounded.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban and Islamic State militant groups are active in the Afghan capital. They have both attacked reporters in the past over what the militants view as biased or negative coverage.

In June, the Taliban warned it would target Afghan media organizations if they did continued broadcasting anti-Taliban announcements paid for by the government.

"We don't broadcast anti-Taliban advertisements but it is clear that freedom of expression is under constant threat in Afghanistan," Aminy said.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, writing in a tweet: "Deliberately targeting media and civilians is a war crime and those responsible will be held accountable."

Afghanistan was the deadliest country in the world to be a journalist in 2018, with at least 13 deaths.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked in recent weeks as both Afghan forces and Taliban militants attempt to increase their leverage in ongoing peace talks.

U.S. and Taliban negotiators began an eighth round of peace talks in Qatar on August 3.

More than 1,500 civilians were killed or woundedin Afghanistan's conflict last month -- the highest figure since May 2017, according to the United Nations United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

UNAMA says that 1,366 civilians were killed during the first six months of this year, a 21-percent decrease on the same period last year.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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