Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 19:08 pm (KSA) 16:08 pm (GMT)

Second Afghan female journalist killed this week

A popular TV presenter was also killed May 31 in Kabul
A popular TV presenter was also killed May 31 in Kabul

A 35-year-old radio station manager was shot dead in her home overnight, the Afghan interior ministry said Wednesday, in the second such killing of a female journalist within the week.

Zakia Zaki was the owner and manager of Peace Radio, a private broadcaster that was partially funded by Western sources. She was killed in her home late Tuesday in a town 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of the capital Kabul, the ministry said.

The attackers have not yet been identified, ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP, adding that police have launched an "intense investigation" into the murder.

Zaki, who was married, also served as a school headmistress and attended the 2003 meeting that drew up Afghanistan's post-Taliban constitution.

She was critical of warlords -- commanders of the anti-Soviet resistance during the 1980s who dragged Afghanistan into a brutal civil war, Afghan Independent Journalists Association president Rahimullah Samander told AFP.

She was threatened recently by local commanders to shut down the station or face death, he said.

The new killing came amid mounting anger over the murder in Kabul on May 31 of popular 22-year-old television presenter Shakiba Sanga Amaj, who was also shot dead in her home and ordered to stop her work by unidentified people.

Police have arrested a suspect for the killing of Amaj but the motive is still unclear, with some reports suggesting that her murder may have been related to her refusal to marry someone.

Dozens of radios and private television channels have opened in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 with the support of foreign funding.

Many run entertainment programs that have sparked protests by some Afghans who see the shows as an affront to their religion and culture.

A draft media law, still before parliament, includes an article banning news items that "harm the physical, spiritual and moral well-being of people."

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