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Afghan journalist among those dead in Kabul attack

Sardar Ahmad was a highly respected journalist. Hired by AFP in 2003 to cover daily briefings by the US-led coalition at Bagram airbase, he on to become the agency's senior reporter in Kabul, covering all aspects of life, war and politics in his native country.

Sardar Ahmad, a senior reporter for Agence France-Presse's Kabul bureau, was killed in an attack on Thursday night, press freedom organisations have reported.

Four gunmen stormed the Serena Hotel in Kabul during Nowruz celebrations, which marks the start of the Afghan and Persian new year. The assailants killed nine, including Ahmad, members of his family including his wife and two children; a former Paraguayan diplomat visiting the country to observe elections; and foreign nationals from Canada, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan, according to news reports. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, news reports said.

"We mourn the death of Sardar Ahmad and extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues," said Robert Mahoney, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) deputy director. "His death is a tremendous loss for Afghanistan's press, which works in an atmosphere of tremendous instability, especially as elections draw closer."

"We express our deep sadness following the horrific murder of the journalist Sardar Ahmad and his family in Kabul and we send our condolences to their loved ones at this very difficult time," said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) President Jim Boumelha.

Ahmad was a highly respected journalist. Hired by AFP in 2003 to cover daily briefings by the US-led coalition at Bagram airbase, he on to become the agency's senior reporter in Kabul, covering all aspects of life, war and politics in his native country.

There has been an uptick in attacks in Kabul in recent weeks as next month's presidential elections approach. Earlier this month, British-Swedish journalist Nils Horner was shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul's diplomatic district, and in January, a Lebanese restaurant popular with foreigners was attacked in a suicide bombing.

Date posted: March 21, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 0