Official: Afghan journalist survives attack by gunmen
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen on a motorcycle brandished small arms and fired on a broadcast journalist in his car in the Afghan capital of Kabul, lightly wounding him.
Ali Reza Sharifi, a journalist for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, survived the late Friday night attack, Taliban deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press.
“We are investigating to find the perpetrator,” he said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The assault comes just days after an Afghan media watchdog reported more than 30 instances of violence and threats of violence against Afghan journalists over the last two month, with nearly 90% committed by the Taliban.
Sharifi told the AP he was driving home when two men riding a motorcycle opened fire on his car. “A bullet fired from the left just touched my lip,” he said, adding that “shredded window pieces hit my left eye.”
Pictures of Sharifi’s car shared on social media show at least two bullet holes on one of the car’s windows. “They started firing from the front and I escaped to the back seat,” he said.
Since the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in late August, three journalists have been killed in Afghanistan.
Separately, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a series of tweets that unknown gunmen fired on a wedding ceremony in a remote area of the eastern Nangarhar province, killing three civilians and wounding several others. Two men were arrested and a third remained at large.
It was unclear why the wedding was targeted, but Mujahid said the gunmen had tried to stop the wedding music by invoking the name of the Taliban, although they aren’t officially affiliated with the group.