Taliban has assassinated the Afghanistan Government’s media head. Dawa Khan Minapal, head of the Afghan government’s media and information center, was killed in the Taliban attack.
Taliban earlier warned it would target senior administration officials in retaliation for increased air raids. The killing of the media head came days after this warning.
Minapal had also served as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman.
The Afghan Interior Ministry also confirmed that Dawa Khan had been killed. But the government has not revealed who was behind the killings.
The Taliban often target government officials and those they perceive as working for the government or foreign forces, though several recent attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group. The government most often holds the Taliban responsible.
The Taliban began sweeping across Afghanistan at an unexpected speed after the U.S. and NATO began their final pullout in late April. The bitter fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of Afghans, now living in miserable conditions in improvised shelters and makeshift camps in the southern, desert-like environment — brutally hot days and cold nights. Inside the cities where fighting is underway, thousands are trapped and unable to move from their homes.
More than half of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district centers are now in Taliban hands. While many of the districts are in remote regions, some are deeply strategic, giving the Taliban control of lucrative border crossings with Iran, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.