Gunmen shoot dead former news anchor in Afghanistan's Kandahar

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Nimat Rawan was shot dead by gunmen in the southern city of Kandahar.
  • Rawan's killing comes amid a US troop withdrawal which has seen increased violence in Afghanistan.
  • The US began to pull out its forces under the agreement reached with the Taliban in talks last year.

A former journalist who worked for Afganistan's finance ministry was shot dead by gunmen in the southern city of Kandahar on Thursday, provincial officials said, as violence mounted across the country amid a US troop withdrawal.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but government officials and Western powers usually blame Taliban insurgents for such attacks, which they deny.

Nimat Rawan, a former news anchor at ToloNews, Afghanistan's largest private television station, was shot dead on Thursday morning, provincial police spokesman Jamal Naser said. Police were investigating, he said.

Many similar killings have taken place in recent months, often targeting journalists, civil society activists, government officials, and judges.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the militant group was behind the shooting of Rawan in Kandahar. In tweets on Wednesday, Mujahid had warned against "propaganda and one-sided broadcasts" by some media outlets.

"If this continues, the responsibility for the next steps will fall on the media officials and its staff themselves," he said.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and said the militants could not the silence the people's freedom of speech.

READ | Afghan retreat: US formally withdrawing from its longest war

Afghan security forces are locked in daily combat with the Taliban, which has waged war to overthrow the foreign-backed government since it was ousted from power in Kabul in 2001.

The United States has begun to pull out its forces under an agreement reached with the Taliban in talks last years, although it has missed a 1 May withdrawal deadline. Critics of President Joe Biden’s decision to bring the troops home say the Taliban will try to sweep back into power.

In just two days, the Taliban captured a second district in the northern province of Baghlan on Thursday, provincial police spokesman Jawed Basharat said.

Six Afghan security forces were killed in a Taliban night-time attack on their outpost in the central province of Ghazni, a local official said.

The Afghan government says the Taliban have killed and wounded more than 50 troops in attacks in at least 26 provinces during the last 24 hours, while its forces killed dozens of Taliban over the same period.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
That's an unnecessary procedure
16% - 695 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 305 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 3224 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo