Explosions kill at least 21 in Kabul, including journalist

В столице Афганистана прогремел мощный взрыв

US Ambassador John Bass tweeted, "I condemn today's awful Kabul attack (and) reaffirm our commitment (to) stand with the Afghan people in their fight for peace (and) security across Afghanistan".

Stanikzai said that the second suicide bomber was on foot and mingled among the crowd of journalists who had gathered after the first blast.

The chief photographer for the French AFP News Agency, Shah Marai, has been killed in a suicide blast in Kabul.

Police officer Jan Agha said all the journalists died in the second blast, which also wounded two police officers.

The suicide blasts took place in the central Shash Darak area, which is home to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters and a number of embassies in Afghanistan.

According to officials, the nine journalists were killed after they arrived to report on the first explosion.

The attack was the latest in a relentless string of large-scale bombings and assaults in the capital and elsewhere in Afghanistan this year.

A few hours later another suicide auto bombing in Kandahar killed 11 children, police in the southern province said.

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The attacker was targeting a convoy of Romanian troops patrolling the Daman district of Kandahar on Monday, TOLO News quoted local officials as saying.

A further 45 people were injured in the two incidents, and have been taken to city hospitals, according to Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahid Majroh. That's when the next terrorist detonated his bomb, killing the nine reporters. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others. "I hate to see this", said Candace Rondeaux, a former Washington Post correspondent in Kabul who later worked as a strategic advisor to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The blasts follow several bloody attacks across the country including a bombing that targeted a voter registration centre in Kabul killing 60 people last week. Although the AJSC's estimates are much higher ― it says at least 80 journalists and media workers have died since 2001 ― it acknowledged that the recent attacks made it the country's deadliest day for journalists.

Tributes from Afghan officials, analysts, and journalists were pouring in on Twitter.

A BBC journalist has been killed in Afghanistan. "Life seems to be even more hard than under the Taliban because of the insecurity". "This act of terrorism targeting journalists also shows that Afghanistan, despite being the world's most unsafe country for journalists for many years, has not done enough to ensure the safety of journalists", he said. The IFJ strongly condemns the killing and demands urgent action from the government to ensure justice for the slain journalists. The Taliban had warned earlier that they considered journalists legitimate targets.

"We also send our condolences to the families of other journalists killed in this bad attack".

Afghanistan is one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists - but it also enjoys a vibrant, critical press. "The US Embassy also condemned the "savage bombings" in Kabul and reiterated its support for the Afghan people and Ghani's government in their fight against terrorism".

In the southern city of Kandahar, where NATO-led forces operate out of a big air base, 11 children were killed and 16 wounded when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden van into a foreign-force convoy, police said.

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