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Female Afghan Anchor Killed In Kabul Blast

Ariana News female anchor Mina Khairi, who was killed in a Kabul blast on June 3.

An Afghan news anchor was killed in a blast in western Kabul, the latest of a series of attacks on journalists in the country.

Mina Khairi, a female anchor for Ariana News, died on the evening of June 3 when an explosion ripped through a minivan. The blast also killed four other people, including Khairi's mother, and seriously wounded the journalist’s sister and six more civilians.

The 23-year-old had worked as a presenter for Ariana’s radio and television programs since 2017.

Abdul Mu'eed Hashimi, the head of the Committee to Protect Journalists in Afghanistan, told RFE/RL’s Afghan Service that according to initial information, the attack on Khairi was targeted.

Ariana director Sharif Hassanyar said Afghan media would not be deterred by the attack.

"Mina Khairi's martyrdom cannot hinder freedom of expression and media activity in Afghanistan," he said.

Since March 2020, 11 journalists and media workers have been murdered in Afghanistan, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said this week.

The watchdog has formally asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the murders as possible war crimes.

RSF said it “has every reason to believe that armed groups, especially the Taliban or Taliban affiliates, are responsible for this wave of killings.”

With reporting by RFE/RL's Afghan Service, Tolo News, and Ariana News
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