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Taliban threaten journalists amid surge in violence in Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: May 06, 2021 20:42 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], May 6 (ANI): Taliban have issued a threat to Afghan media outlets and have accused them of siding with Afghanistan's intelligence agency, saying "media must be aware" to maintain their neutrality and avoid becoming the Kabul administration's propaganda tool.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Taliban spokesman Zabullah Mujahid said the Kabul administration's National Directorate of Security is directly involved in activities to distort public views, Khamma Press reported.
He said that "media must be aware" to maintain their neutrality, and that in such a sensitive situation media should avoid becoming the Kabul administration's propaganda tool.
Taliban threats came as the United States have begun drawdown of its troops in Afghanistan and violence have escalated in the country.
Earlier in June of 2019, the Taliban had issued a threat to the Afghan media outlets saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop publishing and broadcasting what they call government propaganda against the insurgents.

Since then, journalists, media professionals and staffers came under attacks and fell victims to targeted killings.
According to reports at least 20 Journalists and media workers have been the victims of Targeted attacks in the past six months including eight including four women were killed and dozens have received death threats for their work.
United Mission in a report on February 2021 said at least 11 human rights defenders and media workers were killed in targeted attacks between September 2020 to January 2021.
Taliban have launched a new wave of offensive in several Afghan cities and are resorting to bombings and heavy weapons after the United States missed May 1 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Several cities around Afghanistan are witnessing the wrath of the Taliban's attacks. The Afghan forces have suffered heavy casualties in the past few days as they fought back the terror group offensive.
Taliban fighters have captured a key district in northern Afghanistan while thousands of civilians have fled their homes in the southern part of the country to escape violent attacks by the group after the withdrawal of US forces from a military base in the area, officials said on Wednesday.
The rugged Burka district in Baghlan, one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban overnight after the militant group staged an attack on government forces, Javid Basharat, a spokesman for Baghlan's governor, told Arab News. (ANI)