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Taliban kill Afghan govt employee who was also part-time journalist

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KABUL (Reuters) – The body of an Afghan government employee who also worked as a part-time journalist in western Afghanistan’s Farah region has been found, three days after he was kidnapped by Taliban militants, local officials said on Wednesday.

Javid Noori’s body was turned over to his family on Tuesday and a Taliban statement said he was killed on Saturday.

Taliban and other Islamist insurgents have repeatedly targeted Afghan journalists, killing 15 in 2018, the deadliest year yet for the Afghan media, according to the media freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

Farah provincial governor Shoaib Sabet said Noori was abducted from a bus along with 30 other passengers in a remote part of the province. “(He) was a government employee but was working part-time as a journalist for local radio,” Sabet said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement Noori was killed because he worked for the U.S.-backed Kabul government. He added that the Taliban had also seized 13 pro-government militiamen as suspected spies who were on the bus.

(Reporting by Mohammad Stanikzai in Helmand and Jalil Rezaee in Herat, Writing by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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