At least three doctors and their driver were killed and another wounded in an explosion in the southern part of the Afghan capital, Kabul, Tuesday morning as they were driving to work at the country’s largest prison.In a statement, authorities at the Pul-e-Charkhi prison expressed deep regret upon receiving “sad news that the acting director general of the prison’s health department, Brigadier Dr. Nazefa Ibrahimi, was martyred along with two other doctors and a driver of this department in a roadside mine explosion around 7:30 AM today.”Family sources say the male doctor killed in the attack, Dr. Abdul Mateen, was Dr. Ibrahimi’s husband.One of the female doctors also worked at another local hospital converted into a treatment facility for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.Noorullah Tarakai, the deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said several passers-by were also hurt in the attack.Condemning the attack, Ross Wilson, the U.S. chargé d’affaires, said it was “shocking to learn of the deaths of Office of Prison Administration (OPA) doctors, who work tirelessly each day to save vulnerable lives, especially during a pandemic when front-line medical personnel are desperately needed.”(1/2) It is shocking to learn of the deaths of Office of Prison Administration (OPA) doctors, who work tirelessly each day to save vulnerable lives, especially during a pandemic when frontline medical personnel are desperately needed. I condemn the attack this morning in Kabul.
— Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson (@USAmbKabul) Rahmatullah Nikzad, a prominent local journalist was shot dead by unknown assailants in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, Dec. 21, 2020.On Monday, unknown gunmen killed an Afghan journalist in Ghazni province.Targeted killings have been on the rise in the country. According to a survey by Afghan news channel TOLOnews, the capital city experienced at least 60 small or large attacks in the past two months in which 133 people were killed.The survey said Kabul “witnessed 29 IED blasts, three missile attacks, 26 armed attacks and two car bombings,” which were separate from three suicide attacks on Kabul University, a coaching center, and security forces.Earlier this month, the European Union and NATO issued a statement condemning targeted killings, calling them “unlawful attacks on representatives of the media, religious leaders and groups, human rights defenders, students, civil society and civilians at large.”Violence in Afghanistan has been a major cause for concern. Civilians continue to pay a high price in the country’s long-running conflict, even though the Taliban and Afghan government have officially started negotiations aimed at ending the strife.

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