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VOA Condemns Attack on Kabul Journalists

A cameraman films a news anchor at Tolo News studio in Kabul Afghanistan, October 18, 2015.
A cameraman films a news anchor at Tolo News studio in Kabul Afghanistan, October 18, 2015.

The Voice of America condemns the suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, January 20 that killed seven journalists and wounded 26 others who worked for Tolo TV and its parent company, Moby Group.

“Voice of America champions media freedom around the world,” said Kelu Chao, Acting VOA Director. “Our commitment to Afghanistan audiences and Afghanistan’s news media is now even stronger in the wake of what happened to our colleagues at Tolo.”

The Taliban suicide bombing at Tolo TV studios in Kabul was the first such attack on Afghan journalists.

“It is devastating when journalists are killed simply for telling the truth in their news reports,” said Masood Farivar, Chief of VOA’s Afghanistan Service. “This attack was particularly disturbing because several of my staff used to work for Tolo TV and many of us have friends there.”

The White House, the U.S. embassy in Kabul, the United Nations, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations have also condemned the attack.

Growth in Afghanistan’s media sector is widely regarded as one of the success stories of the post-Taliban Afghanistan. The suicide attack in Kabul on a bus carrying Tolo staff home occurred less than four months after the Taliban vowed to kill Tolo TV employees for reporting on Taliban atrocities in the northern Afghanistan town of Kunduz.

Voice of America is the U.S. government-funded civilian news broadcaster serving international audiences of more than 180 million people. Voice of America’s Afghanistan Service – locally branded as “Ashna,” or “friend” in English – provides news content to Afghanistan in its two main languages, Dari and Pashto, via television, radio, the Internet, and on social media. Tolo TV carries VOA health programming and news reports.