Taleban assassinate Afghan govt top media officer, US condemns

Kabul - The federal interior ministry said that 'the terrorists killed' him during Friday prayers.

By Reuters

Published: Fri 6 Aug 2021, 3:34 PM

Taleban fighters on Friday assassinated the Afghanistan government's top media and information officer in the capital Kabul, an act condemned by the senior US diplomat in the country as an affront to human rights and free speech.

The Taleban claimed responsibility for killing Dawa Khan Menapal, head of the Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC). An official in the federal interior ministry said that "the terrorists killed" him during Friday prayers.

"He (Menapal) was a young man who stood like a mountain in the face of enemy propaganda, and who was always a major supporter of the (Afghan) regime," said Mirwais Stanikzai, a spokesperson of the interior ministry.

Menapal had also served as a spokesperson in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's outreach team.

The assassination was the latest in a series conducted by the extremist group to weaken Ghani's democratically elected, western backed regime.

Scores of social activists, journalists, bureaucrats, judges and public figures who were fighting to sustain a liberal regime have been killed by Taleban fighters in a bid to silence voices of dissent in the war-torn country.

A Taleban spokesperson said Menapal was "killed in a attack".

In a tweet, US Charge d'Affaires Ross Wilson said he was saddened and disgusted by the killing of Menapal, who he called a friend and colleague whose career was focused on providing truthful information to all Afghans.

"These murders are an affront to Afghans’ human rights & freedom of speech, " he said.

On Tuesday, the district governor of Sayed Abad district in Maidan Wardak province was also assassinated in Kabul by Taleban fighters.

More news from Asia