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Afghanistan: Suicide Bombings & Targeting Of Media

AFGHANISTAN: UNESCO CHIEF ‘HORRIFIED’ AT SUICIDE BOMBINGS, TARGETING OF MEDIA

New York, Aug 2 2006 3:00PM

With violence escalating in Afghanistan, the head of the United Nations cultural agency today condemned a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar that killed a television cameraman and several other civilians, saying he was “particularly horrified” as the bombers had waited for a crowd to gather to inflict maximum suffering.

“The killing of civilians is completely unacceptable and the targeting of media professionals is particularly reprehensible as it aims to undermine the fundamental human right of freedom of expression and communities’ right to obtain the information they require for the exercise of their democratic rights,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Abdul Qodus, a cameraman for the privately-owned TV station Aryana, and a driver employed by the same company, were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber caused an explosion shortly after a first suicide bomb attack in the same location.

“I am particularly horrified by the cynical tactics of the bombers who waited for a crowd to gather on the spot of a first attack before unleashing a second explosion. The use of bloodshed to suppress information and human rights is particularly heinous,” added Mr. Matsuura.

UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom.

2006-08-02 00:00:00.000

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