Khpalwak's killing draws condemnation (UPDATED)
Multiple suicide bombers stormed several government buildings in the city, killing 19 people and wounding 37 others. The dead included Pajhwok Afghan News reporter Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, 10 children, women and police officers.
Rear Admiral Vic Beck, ISAF Director of Public Affairs, said in a statement: "Innocent Afghans lost their lives because insurgents have a despicable, complete disregard for human life. Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of those who were killed."
In a condolence letter to Pajhwok Afghan News, Chad Carroll, Public Affairs Director for coalition forces in the east, wrote: "We have strong reverence and admiration for Ahmed's dedication to report the truth despite the dangerous environment. Journalists like Ahmed truly set the conditions for a prosperous, safe Afghanistan."
President Hamid Karzai and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi also strongly denounced the death of Khpalwak. Karzai said the insurgents wanted to derail the security transition process, but they would not succeed.
"The enemies of peace in Afghanistan are killing innocent people and civilians to please their masters," Karzai said, praising security forces for their bravery.
Maidan Wardak Governor Haleem Fidayee hailed Khpalwak as a committed journalist, who had worked for several news organisations in recent years. His death represented a huge loss for the journalist fraternity, Fidayee said.
In Helmand and Khost provinces, journalists denounced the killing of their colleague in yesterday's attacks. They urged all parties to the conflict to ensure the security of reporters under all circumstances.
The interior minister said he was shocked to hear the news that the Pajhwok reporter had been killed in the assault. He prayed to Allah to rest Khpalwak's soul in eternal peace and grant courage to his family to bear the irreparable loss.
The journalist was laid to rest in his ancestral village on the outskirts of the provincial capital late on Thursday night. Hundreds of people, including relatives, journalists and well-wishers participated in his funeral.
Ahmad Javed, the victim's brother, said: "We have no link to any group. Khpalwak, 25, was killed in the line of duty."
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