KABUL, Afghanistan, The Afghan Taliban said Thursday it was behind an attack that killed employees of Afghanistan’s largest television network.
The Islamist militant group had been angered for months by Tolo TV’s reports of Taliban executions, rapes and kidnappings during a fight for the Afghan city of Kunduz. On Wednesday, the group drove a bomb-laden car into a bus carrying Tolo employees during rush-hour traffic in Kabul.
Six employees, and a seventh unidentified victim, died, and at least 25 others were injured.
The Taliban also objected to what it called Tolo’s programming of “obscenity, irreligiousness, foreign culture and nudity,” an apparent reference to musical programs, talent contests and showing women on television. The statement warned to expect more violence unless Tolo apologizes for “malicious acts” against the Taliban.
ITV, another network offering popular programming, has been similarly threatened.
A U.S. embassy statement after the bombing said, “Murdering those who work to enlighten, educate and entertain will not stop Afghans from exercising their universal human right to freedom of expression. A vibrant media is one of the great successes of the Afghan people over the past 14 years.”
By Ed Adamczyk