Three female journalists were shot and killed as they left a studio and were walking home from work. A fourth was also shot and is fighting for her life at a local hospital. The attack, the latest in a series of attacks against journalists, government workers, activists, and judges, took place in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.

Zalmai Latifi, director at the local Enikass television station, said that the women, ages 18-20, had all recently graduated from high school. They were killed in two separate attacks. Two people who were in close proximity to the attacks were wounded. 

“They are all dead. They were going home from the office on foot when they were shot,” Latifi said. He added that the station had employed 10 women, but now four of them were shot, and killed by gunmen. 

The three women dubbed dramas from Turkey and India into Afghanistan’s local languages of Dari and Pashtu. There were 50 journalists killed in Afghanistan in 2020. In December, Malalai Maiwand, a female presenter for Enikass Radio and TV was killed along with her driver in Jalalabad.

Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists following Mexico, especially since the government and Taliban began peace talks in Doha following the agreement with the United States. Women, in particular, are being targeted for assassinations.  

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killings and said, “attacks on innocent compatriots, especially women, are contrary to the teachings of Islam, Afghan culture, and the spirit of peace.”

The Islamic State announced that it was responsible for the attack.

Nangarhar police chief Juma Gul Hemat said an armed suspect was later taken into custody following the shootings and added that authorities were still looking for other culprits.