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Afghanistan 24 July 2006

Follow-up suicide bomber kills TV employee covering death of two Canadian soldiers

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep regret today at the death of Abdul Qodus, a cameraman and driver employed by the Kandahar bureau of the privately-owned TV station Aryana, who was killed when a Taliban suicide bombing in Kandahar on 22 July was followed another in the same place a short while later.

"We voice our strongest condemnation of the use of suicide bombings by the Taliban against civilians," the press freedom organisation said. "The tactic of staging a second bombing in the same place, thereby threatening media employees and others, is especially appalling."

Qodus was helping to film the aftermath of a suicide bombing that killed two Canadian soldiers when - 40 minutes after the first bomb - a second suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of the crowd that had gathered, inflicting fatal injuries on Qodus and four other civilians and injuring many others. The cameraman died of head injuries after being rushed to Kandahar’s Mirwais hospital.

After this double bombing, Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf issued a warning to civilians not to approach the scene of a bombing because a second or even a third one might follow in the same place.

The Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) said Qodus joined Aryana eight months ago after working for the national radio and TV broadcaster. He is the second journalist to be killed in a bombing in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime.

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