Two suspects arrested for killing female Afghan journalist

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the assassination of journalist Malalai Maiwand who was gunned down in Jalalabad in Nangarhar early Thursday morning.

Interior Ministry’s spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed the arrest and said the two suspects had been taken into custody on Thursday night.

Arian said in a tweet that during preliminary questioning, the suspects confessed to the crime.

“The assassin of Martyr Malalai Maiwand and his associate were arrested this evening and have confessed to their crime. Investigation underway,” Arian stated.

This came after the shooting of Maiwand, and her driver sparked not only a national outcry but also strong condemnation from foreign countries, organizations, and individuals, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Maiwand was killed shortly after 7.30 am in the Nangarhar provincial capital, along with her driver, while on her way to work. She worked for provincial radio and TV station Enikass.

Reacting immediately after the attack, Arian said in a tweet that “unfortunately, in the last decade and a half, the vast majority of journalists have been killed by the Taliban.”

However, no details were given as to whether the suspects were linked to any group but Daesh did claim responsibility for the attack earlier in the day.

Maiwand’s death on Thursday has meanwhile brought the total number of journalists killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 52, according to CPJ data.

Arian also stated earlier Thursday in a separate tweet that the Afghan security forces had arrested a Taliban militant in connection with the assassination of Ilias Daee, a Radio Azadi reporter, who was killed in an IED blast last month in Helmand.

Arian noted that the insurgent had also confessed to his crime.

The official emphasized that police are trying to arrest the remaining culprits.

Daee was killed and two civilians including his brother were wounded in a magnetic IED explosion in PD1 of Lashkargah city on November 12.

The development comes as targeted attacks on journalists and media workers have increased sharply in recent weeks.