Taliban fighters searching for a journalist from Deutsche Welle (DW) shot and killed his relative in Afghanistan and seriously wounded another. German Radio International, part of ARD, announced this on its website on Friday morning.
The identity of the journalist, who now lives in Germany, has not been revealed. Several members of his family managed to escape in extreme cases as the Taliban pushed from door to door in an attempt to get their hands on him.
“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors at the hands of the Taliban on Thursday is deeply tragic and illustrates the grave danger facing all of our staff and their families in Afghanistan,” Peter Limburg, DW’s general manager, said in a statement. “It is clear that the Taliban are already conducting targeted operations in search of journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces,” he added. “Time is running out!”
According to the DW website, the Taliban raided the homes of at least three of its journalists. Nimatullah Himat, of the private TV channel Garghasht, was also said to have been kidnapped by the Taliban and, according to government sources, the head of the Paktia Radio Station Gag was shot dead.
After capturing most of the country in recent weeks and Kabul last weekend, the Taliban have assured that they will respect freedom of the press.
However, they have intensified their search for those who cooperated with US and NATO forces, despite promising not to retaliate against their opponents, according to a confidential UN report.
The report, prepared by the UN Risk Assessment Committee and made available to Agence France-Presse, says the Taliban have “priority lists” for those they want to arrest.