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Afghan journalist killed by Taliban roadside bomb

17 November, 2011

KABUL: Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is saddened to learn that radio journalist Jafar Vafa and eight of his relatives were killed by a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Laghman on Saturday as they were returning home from Vafa's wedding two days earlier in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital. Aged 20, Vafa worked for radio Kaleh Ghosh.

"We offer our condolences to Jafar Vafa's family," RWB Secretary General Jean-François Julliard said, noting that he is the third journalist to have been killed by a roadside bomb since 2009. Four others have been seriously injured. On October 23, 2010, New York Times photographer Joao Silva was badly injured by a mine in southern Afghanistan, and had to have both legs amputated above the knee.

British journalist Rupert Hamer, the London-based Sunday Mirror's defence correspondent, was killed when the US military vehicle he was travelling in, was hit by a roadside bomb in the southwestern province of Helmand on January 9, 2010. His colleague, photographer Philip Coburn, was seriously wounded in the blast.

Similarly, Canadian journalist Michelle Lang of the Calgary Herald was killed in the southern province of Kandahar just 10 days before Hamer. Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti and Indonesian cameraman Andi Jatmiko, both Associated Press employees, were seriously injured by a roadside bomb while travelling with a US military convoy near the city of Kandahar on August 12, 2009. A total of 16 Afghan journalists and 12 foreign journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since September 11, 2001.

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