Sultanate flays bombings in Afghan capital

MUSCAT: The Sultanate on Tuesday condemned the bombings that took place in the Afghan capital, Kabul which led to the deaths and injuries.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry, the Sultanate affirmed its firm stance in rejecting all forms of violence and terrorism, whatever their reasons and motives. Meanwhile, Afghan journalists were shaken but defiant, vowing to continue reporting on the bloody conflict after the deadliest attack on the country’s media since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Ten journalists were killed on Monday, including AFP chief photographer Shah Marai, in attacks that sparked outrage around the world and underscored the dangers faced by Afghan media. The deadly assaults have rocked Afghanistan’s tight-knit journalist community.

Many of them are close friends as well as colleagues who look out for one another as they work in an increasingly hostile environment. Hours after the double suicide blast in Kabul that killed nine journalists and 16 others, dozens of Afghan news editors and executives gathered at the site in a public display of defiance to militants. The message was “if they destroy a line of journalists, there’s going to be a longer line back at the scene within a few hours,” Tolo News Director Lotfullah Najafizada said. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the US would stand by the Afghan people and the Kabul government. “The murder of journalists and other innocent people is a great testimony to what it is we stand for, and more importantly what we stand against,” Mattis said.