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Twin blasts martyr dozens, including journalists in Kabul

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Twin blasts martyr dozens, including journalists in Kabul

Targeting innocent civilians, worshippers inside the mosques, national and democratic processes, reporters and freedom of speech all are war crimes: President Ghani

 KABUL: A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, martyring at least 25 people, including nine journalists, officials said. 
At least 45 people were also wounded in the twin attacks, according to Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, who also added that four policemen were among those martyred.
The attack was the latest in a relentless string of deadly large-scale bombings and assaults that have struck Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan so far this year. And as the capital Kabul reeled from Monday’s assault, a suicide car bombing a few hours later in the southern province of Kandahar martyred 11 children, the local police spokesman said.
Kabul police spokesman, said the first suicide bomber was on a motor bike. The second explosion was meant to hit those rushing to the scene of the attack to help the victims of the first blast, he added.
The second attacker was on foot, in a crowd of reporters that had rushed to the scene of the first attack, pretending to be one of the media, the spokesman said. The bomber then detonated his explosives while still among the reporters, Stanekzai said, adding that the attacker obviously intentionally targeted the journalists.
Presidential Spokesman Haroon Chakhansouri in a tweet condemned the attack on reporters, saying President Ghani has cancelled his trip to Parwan. President Ghani was expected to inaugurate Jabul Saraj palace and a number of projects in the province.
Meanwhile a presidential statement strongly condemned the attacks, quoting President Ghanias saying that attacks targeting innocent civilians, worshippers inside the mosques, national and democratic processes, reporters and freedom of speech all are war crimes.
Calling freedom of expression as one of the government’s main achievements, the presidential statement said government would remain committed to safeguard the achievements, adding the president had instructed the joint committee of media to extend support to those journalists affected by the incident.
Condemning the brutal attack of the terrorists, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said the insurgent deliberately targeted the reporters and those were helping the victims. He said the terrorists once again targeted free and independent media in Afghanistan, adding government would spare no effort to safeguard freedom of expression in the country.
The statement quoted Dr. Abdullah saying that the people of Afghanistan today are well aware of the intentions of these terrorists and will confront them more than ever.
The NUG leaders besides praying for the souls of martyring and wishing urgent recovery for those injured, instructed health and security officials to address the victims.
In a statement posted on an IS-affiliated website, the Islamic State group said two of its fighters carried out the double Kabul bombings, targeting the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence services.
The blasts took place in the central Shash Darak area, home to NATO headquarters and a number of embassies and foreign offices, including The Kabul Times office— as well as a branch of the national directorate of security.
A local media watchdog, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, said nine Afghan journalists were killed and six were wounded. The group strongly condemned all attacks against journalists and invited people to attend praying ceremony for the martyred journalists on 3rd May which is coincided with the World Press Freedom Day.
Meanwhile UNAMA condemned the attack in Kabul, saying these attacks caused untold human suffering to Afghan families.
“UNAMA condemns them in the strongest possible terms,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. 
“I am furthermore outraged by the attack which appears to have deliberately targeted journalists; this attack, coming just ahead of World Press Freedom Day, is a direct assault on freedom of expression,” said Yamamoto.