Islamic State claims responsibility for murder of female reporter in Afghanistan

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From Associated Press

The so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a female TV journalist in Afghanistan. 

Two attackers opened fire on Malala Maiwand’s car soon after she left her house in Nangarhar province earlier in the day, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor. Ms Maiwand’s driver was also killed in the shooting, he added.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant messaging online, said Islamic State issued its claim of responsibility in a “communique” posted on the internet.

Nangarhar province is where the Islamic State affiliate first emerged about five years ago and where it is now headquartered. Islamic State has claimed most of the recent attacks on civilians in Afghanistan.The Taliban, who also operate in the area, are holding peace talks with government representatives. Negotiations are under way in Qatar.

In addition to working as a TV and radio presenter, Ms Maiwand was also an activist who advocated for the rights of Afghan women and children.

“With the killing of Malalai, the working field for female journalists is getting more smaller and the journalists may not dare to continue their jobs the way they were doing before,” Nai, an organisation supporting media in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

 …analysts say the attacks have targeted people working in professions or in conditions – including mixed-gender offices – that the Taliban want to curtail or abolish should they regain power in Kabul. They have created a climate of fear, leaving many questioning whether it is safe to continue at work.

Maiwand comes from a family that had already paid a heavy price for trying to change Afghan society: five years ago her mother, another activist, was killed by unknown gunmen, Reuters reported.

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