Outrage after tragic day for Afghan journalists

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An affiliate group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed credit for the recent attack, the deadliest single incident against journalists in Afghanistan since 2002.

The killing of Shah is the second targeted killing of journalists in Afghanistan in as many weeks.

M - At least 26 people have been killed in two bombings in the Afghan capital Kabul, including several journalists documenting the scene, BBC reports. AFP confirmed that, along with Marai, two journalists from 1TV and one from Tolo News were among the dead.

The second attack was timed 30 minutes later to target journalists arriving on the scene and emergency services personnel seeking to provide aid to victims of the first attack.

He assured that the government would spare no efforts to ensure the safety of journalists. "The murder of journalists and other innocent people is a great testimony to what it is we stand for and more importantly what we stand against", he said.

A separate shooting in eastern Khost province killed a reporter.

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In a third strike on a bloody day for Afghanistan, 11 children were killed and 16 people wounded, including Romanian and Afghan soldiers, when another suicide attacker exploded his vehicle near a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) convoy in southern Kandahar province.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the "heinous terrorist attacks" and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded and conveyed its condolences to the relatives of the deceased. "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".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in February that the government is willing to hold peace talks with the Taliban without preconditions if the Taliban stops committing acts of terror and accepts the Afghan constitution.

European Union's Special Representative for Afghanistan Pierre Mayaudon on Tuesday described the attack on journalists in Afghanistan as horrific and said it was an attack on democracy and freedom of speech.

In 2002 he became a full-time photo stringer, rising through the ranks to become chief photographer in the bureau. Shah Marai leaves behind a family of six children, including a newborn daughter.

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