Head of Afghan media centre assassinated

The head of Afghanistan government’s Media and Information Centre, Dawakhan Minapal, was gunned down in Kabul on Friday afternoon, media reports said.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Mirwais Stanikzai confirmed the assassination. Minapal was reportedly shot from behind while he was performing Friday prayers at a masjid in Darul Aman in the west of Kabul.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Muhajid in a Twitter post claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Minapal was said to be one of the strong advocates of the Afghan government and an opponent of the Taliban and their policies.

Minapal had been the spokesperson of the Presidential Palace before assuming the post as head of the government’s Media and Information Centre.

Hekmat Rawan, former journalist and head of media in the Finance Ministry, was also assassinated by unknown gunmen in Kandahar city two months ago.

Rawan was said to be a close relative of Minapal, reports said.

Before assuming charge as the head of the Media and Information Centre, Minapal had worked as the deputy presidential spokesman from 2016 to 2020.

Menapal had also served as the head of the government’s media wing in Kandahar in 2015.

He was from the Zabul province in south Afghanistan and had a bachelor’s degree in law and political science from the Kabul University.