Afghan attacks on media shows jihadists are weak, says Pentagon chief

2018-05-01 14:12
Jim Mattis listens to a question on the Department of Defense budget posture during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

Jim Mattis listens to a question on the Department of Defense budget posture during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Fighters are targeting journalists in Afghanistan because they are weakened and want more news coverage in order to undermine the country's electoral process ahead of an expected vote in October, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said on Monday.

"This is the normal stuff by people who cannot win at the ballot box, so they turn to bombs," Mattis said when asked about a day of bloodshed in Afghanistan that left dozens dead, including many children and journalists.

"They need the international media to basically broadcast this going on, so they can undercut through those kind of attacks, what is what has obviously set them on their back foot diplomatically and militarily.

"We anticipated that they would do their best to try to bring bombs right into Kabul."

A double suicide blast in Kabul killed 25 people, including AFP photographer Shah Marai and at least eight other journalists. Reporters Without Borders called it the most lethal single attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban.

READ: Twin Kabul suicide blasts kill at least 25, including journalists

'Senseless and barbaric'

Later Monday, the BBC confirmed that one of its reporters, 29-year-old Ahmad Shah, was killed in a separate attack in eastern Khost province, near the border with Pakistan.

One American soldier was also killed and another wounded during a combat operation in eastern Afghanistan, US Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement.

In a further attack, 11 children were killed and 16 people wounded, including Romanian and Afghan security force members, when a suicide attacker exploded his car near a NATO convoy in the southern province of Kandahar, officials said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the "senseless and barbaric attack".

"The independent media is a cornerstone of democracy," he said, adding that the US was "committed to defeating" the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.

"The vibrant media landscape that has developed in Afghanistan will endure, in large part due to those journalists and media professionals who tragically died in today's attack, but whose courageous and steadfast work helped lay the foundation for Afghanistan's thriving and resilient independent media."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    nato  |  us  |  afghanistan  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.