The Day Journalism Wept

Yesterday, ten journalists were killed in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest day for journalists in the country since 2001.

Nine of the journalists were killed by a suicide bomber as they were reporting on another explosion, and the tenth was shot in the eastern city of Khost.

After the first explosion in the central district of Kabul, home to NATO headquarters and an array of embassies, journalists moved in to report on the scene.

Shortly after, a second suicide bomber posing as a camera-man joined the journalists before detonating the bomb only 10 meters away from the first explosion.

TOLONews compiled short bios on each of Monday’s victims:

1. Yar Mohammad Tokhi – TOLOnews Cameraman

Yar Mohammad Tokhi is one of nine journalists who lost their lives in Monday’s explosion. Tokhi was 54 years old and was the only breadwinner in his family. He was engaged and due to be married within a month.

2. Shah Marai – AFP Photographer

Shah Marai Faizi was AFP’s chief photographer in their Kabul bureau. Marai joined AFP as a driver in 1996, the year the Taliban seized power, and in 2002 he became a full-time photo stringer, rising through the ranks to become chief photographer in the bureau.

Marai was the only breadwinner in his fifteen-member family. He has two blind brothers who have been left devastated by his sudden death.

He leaves behind six children, including a newborn daughter, AFP said.

3. Ghazi Rasooli – 1TV Journalist

Ghazi Rasooli joined 1TV four years ago as a journalist and was studying journalism at Kabul University. His was in his final year and was hoping to graduate this year.

Rasooli, 21, was engaged and he was expected to marry next month.

4. Nawroz Ali Rajabi – 1TV Cameraman

Nowroz Ali Rajabi, 1TV cameraman, joined the news channel two years ago.

Rajabi was the only breadwinner in his family. He has left behind a three-month-old baby, elderly parents and his wife.

5. Farishta Mahram Durani – Azadi Radio

Farishta Mahram Durani was a journalist for Azadi Radio in Kabul. She had been saving up to pay for university. Durani was hired recently as the producer of the “Woman” program for the radio station. Durani had worked as a news anchor with several media outlets in Afghanistan.

6. Sabawoon Kakar – Azadi Radio

Sabawon Kakar was another journalist from Azadi Radio who lost his life in the attack. Kakar was covering the aftermath of the first blast when the second explosion rocked the city. Kakar is survived by his wife and a child.

7. Ebadullah Hananzai – Azadi Radio

Ebadullah Hananzai was another Azadi Radio journalist killed in the explosion. Hananzai married only one year ago. He was also the only breadwinner in his family. Hananzai was also the producer of Karwan-e-Zahr (the Poison Convoy) which covered issues related to drug cultivation and production in Afghanistan.

8. Saleem Talash – Mashal TV

Talash joined Mashal TV two years ago as a reporter and was based in Kabul city.

He was engaged a month ago and was supposed to marry soon.

Talash was also at the scene of the explosion to cover the earlier blast. Just moments before the second explosion, Talash sent a text message to friends warning them against using the road close to the scene. It was minutes later, during rush hour, that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

9. Ali Saleemi – Mashal TV

Ali Saleemi joined Mashsal TV only a week ago and lost his life on Monday morning while accompanying Talash.

10. Ahmad Shah –BBC Journalist Shot Dead In Khost

Ahmad Shah, a BBC Pashto reporter, became the 10th journalist to die on Monday when he was shot dead in Khost province.

The incident happened at about 4pm local time, Khost officials confirmed.

Journalists in Khost province said he was shot by unknown armed men who were riding a motorcycle.

Ahmad Shah joined BBC a year ago and was based in Khost province.


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