“As pre-election violence mounts, Afghanistan has become a dangerous assignment on par with the height of the Iraq war or the current situation in Syria,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.
The militants have increasingly been targeting Westerners.
Nils Horner, a 51-year-old Swedish journalist who had worked for Swedish Radio since 2001 as a foreign correspondent, was killed by a shot in the head as he was reporting on Afghanistan’s election in Kabul in early March. An extremist Taliban splinter group later claimed responsibility.
On March 21, four gunmen opened fire in a crowded restaurant frequented by foreigners in the Serena Hotel in Kabul, killing nine people. Among the dead was Sardar Ahmad, a respected 40-year-old Afghan journalist with AFP. His wife and two of their children also were killed, while their nearly 2-year-old son was badly wounded.