1015 GMT September 24, 2020
An AFP photographer, a cameraman for a local TV station and several reporters for the Afghan branch of Radio Free Europe were among the fatalities, police said, AP reported.
At least 45 people were wounded in the twin attacks, according to Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, who also said four policemen were among those killed.
The attack was the latest in a relentless string of deadly large-scale bombings and assaults that have struck Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan so far this year. And even as the Afghan capital reeled from Monday's assault, a suicide car bombing a few hours later in the southern province of Kandahar killed 11 children, a police spokesman said.
In a statement posted on a Daesh-affiliated website, the terror group said two of its members carried out the double Kabul bombings, targeting the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence services.
The blasts took place in the central Shash Darak area, home to NATO headquarters and a number of embassies and foreign offices — as well as the Afghan intelligence service.
Stanekzai, the police spokesman, said the first suicide bomber was on a motor bike. The second explosion was meant to hit those scrambling to get to the scene to help the victims of the first blast, he added.
The second attacker was on foot, in a crowd of reporters rushing to the site of the first attack, pretending to be one of the media, the spokesman said. The bomber then detonated his explosives while still among the reporters, Stanekzai said, adding that the attacker obviously intentionally targeted journalists.
Agence France-Presse said the news agency's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among those killed. AFP said Marai died in a blast that struck journalists who had rushed to the scene of the earlier suicide attack.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said along with the nine journalists killed, six others were wounded. However, Sediqullah Tawhidi, an official with the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, sad only five journalists wounded. Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the immediate aftermath of big attacks.
The Paris-based group named the journalists, working for media organizations from multiple countries, adding that Monday's attack was the deadliest targeting reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The group, also known by its French acronym RSF, said 36 media workers have been killed in Afghanistan in attacks by Daesh or the Taliban since 2016.
Police officer Jan Agha said all the journalists died in the second blast.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attacks. The presidential palace released a statement saying that attacks targeting innocent civilians, worshippers inside the mosques, national and democratic processes, reporters and freedom of speech all are war crimes.