Taliban Kills Afghanistan Govt's Top Media Officer; Disgusted, Says US

The Taliban assassinated the director of the Afghan government's media and information centre, Dawa Khan Menapal.

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Militant organisation Taliban on Friday, 6 July, assassinated the director of the Afghanistan government's media and information centre. The shooting incident, which took place in the country's capital, Kabul, comes days after the Taliban had warned the government that it would attack its officials if the air strikes against the organisation were not halted, news agency AFP reported.

Hours after the incident took place, the US administration expressed its condemnation of the Taliban's actions, stated that it was "saddened & disgusted."

'Punished for His Actions': Taliban Statement on Assassination

The Taliban, on Friday, acknowledged their role in the murder of Dawa Khan Menapal, who headed the Government Media and Information Centre.

A Taliban spokesperson stated that the government officer was "killed in a special attack by the Mujaheedin (Taliban fighters) and was punished for his actions," news agency Reuters reported.

The assassination was reportedly carried out during the Friday prayers, near a mosque in Kabul.

"Unfortunately, the savage terrorists have committed a cowardly act once again and martyred a patriotic Afghan," interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai was quoted as saying by AFP.

Afghanistan, in association with the US military, which is set to soon withdraw from the south-Asian country, had recently boosted the air strikes against the Taliban, inciting the militant group's ire.

Recently, an Indian journalist, Danish Siddiqui, had also been killed by the Taliban while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan, The Washington Examiner has reported.

'Disgusted by Taliban's Targeted Killing': US

Ross Wilson, American Chargé d'Affaires to Afghanistan, took to Twitter on Friday to assert the US's condemnation of the Taliban-conducted assassination.

"We are saddened & disgusted by the Taliban's targeted killing of Dawa Khan Meenapal, a friend and colleague, whose career was focused on providing truthful information to all Afghans about #Afghanistan. There murders are an affront to Afghans' human rights and & speech," he said in a tweet.

"The Taliban's violence & hate have never been sustainable forms o governance. The group's previous beheadings as well as current offensive and targeted killings show that they only know violence and are scared of peace. We urge them to choose peace," he said in a tweet on the same day.


What is Happening in Afghanistan?

Almost 20 years after the US' invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban from power in the country, the US is now looking to withdraw the American troops from the nation by the end of August.

Representatives of the Afghanistan government and Taliban are engaged in negotiations over the militant organisation's increasing control over the country.

However, the dialogue has been largely unsuccessful, with the Taliban seeking complete military control over the country, as per reports.

The Taliban, which was already exercising dominance over the countryside, has now begun to challenge the government forces in the provincial capitals.

(With inputs from AFP, The Washington Examiner, and Reuters)

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Topics:  Afghanistan   Taliban   Assassination 

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