Amid the Taliban’s Worsening Crackdown on Journalists, News in Afghanistan Is Forced to Adapt
On a Saturday morning last month, 31-year-old journalist Abdul Saboor Sirat took a taxi to a ceremony in his home city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan for “Afghan Journalists Day.” He joined around 100 people gathered in the basement of a cultural center.
But within thirty minutes, the journalists meant to be the event’s guests of honor instead became victims. A parcel bomb went off as a children’s choir performed on stage.
“It was blood, cries and dust all over,” Sirat told FRONTLINE in an interview. His eardrums rang, his face burned and shrapnel had pierced his leg, he said. Sirat spent twenty days in the hospital recovering. He was not alone; At least eight others were injured and 20-year-old journalist Hosein Naderi died in the bombing. Islamic State fighters, a rival of the ruling Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.