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Rights Group: 2016 Was Deadliest Year for Afghan Reporters

  • Associated Press

FILE - Afghans take part in a burial ceremony of Afghan journalist Zabihullah Tamanna, in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 7, 2016. Tamanna was killed along with David Gilkey of U.S. National Public Radio in a Taliban attack on an Afghan army unit they were traveling with.

A monitoring group says 2016 was the deadliest year yet for journalists in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee said Thursday that 13 reporters were killed last year in violent attacks blamed on the Taliban, as well as government officials and other powerful individuals angered by their criticism. David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna, of U.S. National Public Radio, were killed in a Taliban attack on an Afghan army unit they were traveling with.

Najib Sharifi, the director of the Afghan group, says the violence directed at journalists is unprecedented.

The Taliban, who have advanced on a number of fronts in recent years, have attacked Afghan journalists over critical coverage and have also targeted Western reporters. Warlords and other armed groups have used violence to settle scores and advance their agendas.

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