Death toll rises to 40 in Kabul bomb blasts

People were targeted as they waited in line to collect identity cards to vote in long-delayed legislative and district council elections scheduled for October. Two reporters were working for Mashal TV, a cameraman and a reporter were there for 1TV, there were three reporters from Radio Azadi, and one journalist from Tolo News.

A spokesperson for Kabul police said about 30 minutes after the first attack, a bomber disguised as a member of the media set off his explosives among a group of journalists who had arrived to cover the earlier blast, Agence France-Presse reported.

They also expressed their deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those journalists who lost their lives in Afghanistan blasts. The group said it would target Afghan and foreign security forces but would avoid civilian casualties. French wire service AFP also confirmed the killing of Shah Marai, its chief cameraman in Kabul.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also condemned the "senseless and barbaric attack". Hundreds of people attended his funeral later on Monday.

Dozens of people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan on Monday.

Provincial police spokesman Qasim Afgha said, 16 others were injured, including foreign and Afghan security forces, when a bomb-laden car exploded in the province. Reporters Without Borders said the attack was the worst of its kind against Afghan journalists "since the fall of the Taliban government in December 2001". BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus said Shah had been "respected and popular", and called his death "a devastating loss".

AFP photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among the dead.

"Those responsible for such crimes must be swiftly brought to justice". I came back with my bike, like an ordinary guy, a scarf wrapped around my hand to hide my camera.

In some Afghan provinces, it said, the Taliban forced the media to pay arbitrary taxes that were tantamount to ransoms.

Afghanistan, unsurprisingly, is one of the most dangerous countries on earth for journalists.

The blast site is just a few minutes' drive away from the office of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency, and several other government offices and embassies. "Where media are in danger, all other human rights are under greater threat". The Taliban has captured more and more territory in recent years, with the latest attacks - no matter who the claimant or perpetrator - only bolstering the militant group even further. At present, there are roughly 14,000 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, a number slated to increase.

America has spent $8.78 billion since 2002 to reduce narcotics production in Afghanistan. Six other journalists were injured in the explosion.

This, he said, is a "direct assault on the freedom of expression".

A bombing that targeted a voter registration centre in Kabul killed 60 people last week. Daesh claimed responsibility for the Kabul terrorist attack, which killed 57 and wounded 119 in the Shiite-populated Dashte Barchi area in the west of the city. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning.

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