11 March 2023

Bomb attack targets awards ceremony for journalists in Afghanistan

11 March 2023

A bomb has exploded during an awards ceremony for journalists in Afghanistan, killing at least one person and wounding five others.

The blast occurred at the Tabian Farhang centre in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, as journalists gathered for the event on Saturday morning, said Mohammad Asif Waziri, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for Balkh police.

It came two days after a bomb in Mazar-e-Sharif killed the provincial governor, Daud Muzmal, and two others. Four were wounded.

The injured in Saturday’s blast included Najeeb Faryad, a reporter for Aryana News television station, who said he felt like something hit him in the back, followed by a deafening sound before he fell to the ground.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — is a key rival of the Taliban.

The militant group has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021. Targets have included Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority.

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