German broadcaster Deutsche Wellereported on Thursday that the Taliban had killed a relative of one of its journalists and injured another after they didn't find the journalist at home. The Taliban were conducting a house-to-house search to try and find the journalist as they wanted to execute them.
The broadcaster, without naming the journalist on concerns of security, said in a statement that he now works in Germany. Unable to find him at his home, the Taliban killed the relative, while other family members somehow managed to escape. It is not known where the family members are presently.
According to Deutsche Welle, the Taliban were conducting a house-to-house manhunt for the journalist. It is not known for what particular reason he was being looked for but lives of journalists in Afghanistan have come in danger after Taliban took siege of Kabul on Sunday.
After locating his house, the Taliban started enquiring about the journalist. When they were told that he has now been living in Germany for some time, the fighters started firing at the family members, instantly killing one of them, while another was seriously wounded in the attack.
Deutsche Welle said that the journalist now works for the broadcaster in Germany, while his family is still in Afghanistan. The director of Deutsche Welle, Peter Limbourg, sharply condemned the killing and has asked the German government to act. "The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is inconceivably tragic, and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves," Limbourg said. "It is evident that the Taliban are already carrying out organized searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are running out of time!"
Journalists at Risk
Deutsche Welle also reported that the insurgent group had been looking for three other journalists of theirs and had searched their homes. The reports underscore the anxieties journalists and others are facing while working within the country under newly reinstated Taliban rule.
Besides, a number of journalists have also gone missing over the apst few days. Nematullah Hemat of private television station Ghargasht TV is believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban. Toofan Omar, the head of the private radio station Paktia Ghag Radio, was, according to government officials, targeted and shot dead by Taliban fighters.
Amdadullah Hamdard, a translator, who was a frequent contributor to Germany's Die Zeit newspaper, was also shot and killed by the Taliban on August 2 in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, right there on the street.
Journalists have been the targets of the Taliban previously, and some are concerned that they will become persecuted again despite promises by the insurgent group that they are seeking peace.