KABUL emerged as the deadliest country for media workers in 2018, says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ),
During the outgoing year, 18 journalists were killed in the conflict-torn country, followed by Mexico with 11, Yemen with nine and Syria with eight.
The number of killings of working journalists and news staff surged during the outgoing year, ending an overall decline experienced in recent years.
In its annual report released, the association said 94 journalists and media workers died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and conflict crossfire in 2018 — up from the 82 deaths in 2017.
Nine of those slain in Afghanistan were killed in April by a suicide attack on a group of journalists in Kabul. Two others were killed in June when a second bomb exploded after they rushed to cover a bombing at a wrestling training centre in Kabul.
Eighty-four journalists, cameramen, fixers and technicians died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and cross-fire while 10 drivers, protection officers and a sales assistant also lost their lives. Six of the 94 victims were women.
Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, was among the dead.
“The brazen acts of violence in utter disregard of human life have brought to an abrupt end the short-lived decrease in journalists’ killings recorded over the last three years,” said IFJ President Philippe Leruth.
“Once again, the IFJ is asking United Nations’ members states to adopt at their General Assembly the convention on the security and protection of journalists which the IFJ presented to diplomatic missions at the UN in New York last October,” he said.