ISLAMABAD - Afghan officials said Saturday a bomb exploded and killed a journalist and a driver of a private television channel in the capital, Kabul. Six other people were injured.
The victims, employees of Khurshid TV, were traveling on a minibus when an improvised explosive device attached to the vehicle went off during the afternoon rush hour, officials said.
Feroz Bashari, the director of the Afghan government media and information center, denounced the violence.
“Attack on journalists is attack on freedom of speech and open media. This cannot be justified at all,” Bashari tweeted, adding the government was “seriously” investigating the incident.
The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, a Kabul-based media monitoring group, also condemned the deadly bombing, demanding authorities bring the perpetrators to justice.
Later Saturday, the Islamic State's Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for the blast, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which provides alerts and translations of jihadist threats and communications.
The IS communique said its fighters detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) on the bus and branded the television station as "pro-apostate Afghan government."
A similar attack in August last year killed two employees of Khrushid TV and injured two others.
Taliban insurgents and Islamic State have repeatedly plotted deadly attacks on journalists in Afghanistan.
At least 15 journalists were killed in Afghanistan in 2018, making it the deadliest year for Afghan media workers, according to local and global media monitoring groups.
In 2016, a Taliban suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a bus transporting employees of the private Tolo TV channel in Kabul. The powerful blast killed seven journalists, who worked for the country’s largest media outlet.
The Taliban, while claiming credit for the attack, accused Tolo TV of running a propaganda campaign against the Islamist insurgency at the behest of U.S.-led foreign troops in Afghanistan.