Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists

The Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province. (File/AP)
Updated 07 September 2019

Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists

  • The reporters were abducted while traveling together to attend a media workshop on Friday
  • A Taliban spokesman confirmed the abduction of six journalists by their fighters but said they will be released soon

KABUL: The Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province, government officials and the Taliban said on Saturday.
The reporters, working for radio and TV news companies that broadcast news in the Pashto and Dari languages, were abducted while traveling together from neighboring Paktika province to Paktia to attend a media workshop on Friday.
“We are trying to negotiate their release with the Taliban,” said Abdullah Hasrat, a spokesman for Paktia’s governor.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the abduction of six journalists by their fighters but said they will be released soon.
“Yes, our mujahideens (fighters) have mistakenly kidnapped them,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the hard-line insurgent group.
“Right now mobile services are not working, but they will be released as soon as we establish contact with the local commander,” he said.
Afghanistan was the deadliest country in the world to be a journalist in 2018, with 13 deaths according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The International Federation of Journalists said 16 journalists were killed last year.
In June, the Taliban issued a threat to Afghan media, saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop broadcasting what they describe as government propaganda against the insurgents.
Media organizations were given one week to stop transmitting “anti-Taliban advertisements” by the group’s military commission, a warning that was denounced by the Afghan government and western diplomats.
In 2016, a Taliban suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying employees of Tolo TV, the country’s largest private broadcaster, killing seven journalists.
The Taliban said it killed the employees because Tolo was producing propaganda that supported the occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and its allies in their war against the insurgents.


London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

Updated 22 February 2020

London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

  • Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday
  • Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday

LONDON: London police on Saturday charged a 29-year-old homeless man with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an illegal knife he used to stab a mosque leader during prayers.
Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday.
London police quickly ruled out a terror motive.
Maglad was treated at a London hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday’s evening service with his arm wrapped in a sling,
“I forgive him. I feel very sorry for him,” Maglad told reporters on Friday.
“To me, as a Muslim, I don’t need to put any hatred in my heart.”
Several regulars at the Regent’s Park area mosque in northwest London said they had seen Horton attend a few services in the past year.
Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday.