Afghanistan violence: Journalist Malala Maiwand shot dead along with her driver

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Malala MaiwandImage source, Presidential Palace
Image caption,
Malala Maiwand was travelling to work in Jalalabad when her vehicle was attacked

A female journalist has been shot dead in eastern Afghanistan, the latest victim of a spate of assassinations across the country.

Malala Maiwand was on her way to work in Jalalabad on Thursday when gunmen opened fire on her vehicle. Her driver, Mohammad Tahir, was also killed.

No group has officially said it carried out the attack.

The killings come after Nato and the EU issued a statement condemning recent targeted killings in Afghanistan.

Maiwand, a journalist at Enikass TV and Radio, was travelling to work when her vehicle was attacked by unidentified gunmen.

The provincial governor's spokesman, Attaollah Khogiyani, told local media the assailants had fled the area.

Maiwand, also a civil society activist, had previously spoken about the challenges of being a female journalist in the country.

Her mother, also an activist, was killed by unknown gunmen five years ago, Reuters news agency reports.

Image caption,
Maiwand's funeral took place on Thursday. The Nangarhar governor said prayers

British ambassador to Afghanistan, Alison Blake called for Thursday's murders to be investigated.

"We join in expressing our condolences and condemnation of the murders of journalist Malala Maiwand and her driver this morning #NotATarget," she wrote.

"We must unite to uphold #PressFreedom, their deaths must be investigated and their killers face justice for this wicked act."

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) condemned the killings.

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Journalists, activists and political figures have all been targeted in recent attacks:

Nai, an organisation that supports media in Afghanistan, said in a statement: "With the killing of Malalai, the working field for female journalists is getting smaller and journalists may not dare to continue their jobs the way they were doing before."

The violence comes as talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban are continuing in Doha, Qatar. The two sides have made some progress on preliminary issues but are yet to begin discussing a ceasefire or power-sharing agreement.

Media caption,

Is peace with the Taliban possible?