A number of journalists and media supporting organizations in Balkh on Thursday condemned the Kabul bombings and called the attack a crime against humanity while extending their condolences to the families of victims.
The journalists, who gathered in Mazar-e-Sharif city, called on government to look for a mechanism to ensure the safety of media workers.
“The sports and media society is in deep sorrow. Attack on the gym in fact showed that terrorists are against improvement and development in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Yazdanparast, a journalist.
On Wednesday evening, the first of two explosions happened just after 6pm when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the wrestling club.
An hour later a car bomb was triggered while first responders were attending the scene.
Among those killed were two journalists from TOLOnews – Samim Faramarz and Ramiz Ahmadi. Several other reporters were injured.
The Balkh journalists said such incidents should be taken seriously by government and that perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.
“We call on leaders of the National Unity Government both Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah to prevent such incidents. We don’t want to be so saddened,” said Bashir Ansari, head of Afghan journalists safety committee in the north.
“We will witness such incidents one after another, if the situation continues,” said Mina Khair Andesh, head of Nai office in Balkh, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned Wednesday night’s attack targeting civilians at a Kabul sports center which killed at least 22 civilians and wounded more than 75 others.
In addition, UNAMA expressed its deep concerns over the heavy price paid by the Afghan media, with the killing of journalists in Afghanistan being among the highest in the world.
“The United Nations extends deep condolences to families who lost loved ones and wishes a quick recovery to those injured,” UNAMA said in a statement.