The Guardian, November 7, 2020
Afghanistan vehicle bomb kills former TV presenter
Kabul police investigate death of Yama Siawash after explosion
Associated Press in Kabul
A bomb attached to the vehicle of a former presenter on Afghanistan’s Tolo TV has exploded, killing the journalist and two other civilians, Kabul police have said.
The death of Yama Siawash is being investigated after the explosion on Saturday, said police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz. No one has immediately claimed responsibility.
Siawash had recently begun working with Afghanistan’s central bank and was in a bank vehicle along with another senior employee, Ahmadullah Anas, and the driver, Mohammad Amin. All died in the explosion, said Faramarz.
Violence and chaos have increased in Afghanistan in recent months even as government negotiators and the Taliban are meeting in Qatar to find an end to decades of relentless war in the country. The two sides have made little progress.
Yama Siawash had recently begun working with Afghanistan’s central bank
Washington’s peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been pressing for an agreement on a reduction in violence or a ceasefire, which the Taliban have refused, saying a permanent truce would be part of the negotiations.
The talks were part of a negotiated agreement between the US and the Taliban to allow US and Nato troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, ending 19 years of military engagement.
According to initial reports, Siawash was near his home when the bomb attached to his car exploded. A witness, Mohammad Rafi, said Siawash’s father and brother were the first to reach the vehicle that was engulfed in flames. Rafi said all three of those killed were inside the car.
Siawash was a former presenter who anchored political programmes on Tolo TV.
Separately on Saturday, a suicide bomb attack in the southern Zabul province killed two civilians, according to police spokesman Hikmatullah Kochai. Kochai said police, acting on intelligence reports, intercepted the vehicle that was detonated by the bombers from within. More than one assailant was inside the vehicle, he said. Seven civilians were wounded in the attack.
In southern Kandahar, a flatbed carrying several farmers hit a roadside mine killing five and wounding at least two others, said Bahir Ahmadi, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor.
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