source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA) Unknown armed men shot dead an Afghan journalist, called Seyd Hamid Noori, who is also a member of Afghan National Journalist Association, in Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday night, an official said on Monday.
"Noori was killed in precinct nine near his house last night," a police official who declined to be named told Xinhua.
No groups or individuals have yet to claim responsibility for the murder.
Over a dozen journalists have been killed in several incidents in war-torn Afghanistan over the past couple of years.
The Independent - 25 July 2008
By Kim Sengupta
The missile strike took place just after midnight, nine miles north of Musa Qala in Helmand. Abdul Rasaq and three of his senior lieutenants had been picked out in the middle of a field. They were already dead as the Nato warplanes that had carried out the precision attack roared away.
Rasaq, also known as Mullah Sheikh, was the third insurgent leader killed in three weeks, while another had surrendered to authorities in Pakistan over the weekend. The past 18 months had also seen the deaths of three other commanders including Mullah Dadullah, who had led insurgent forces in Helmand.
The British and Americans have presented the assassinations as examples of how their policy of "decapitating" the enemy leadership is working. But according to security sources, there is also evidence that factions within the Taliban are using Western forces to eliminate rivals in a new version of the "Great Game" being played out in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The "hits" on the Taliban leadership have almost all been based on initial intelligence supplied from within the insurgency, although details of the movements of some senior insurgents have also been gleaned from intercepted telephone calls. Some of the information has come from the Afghan security service, NDS, and some from Pakistani officials, while the British have held secret talks with elements of the Taliban – despite official denials.
The tempo of targeted attacks on the Taliban leadership has dramatically increased in the past month. Eight days before the killing of Mullah Sheikh, another senior leader, Bishmullah Khan, was shot dead by commandos on the outskirts of Nowzad. Three weeks previously, Mullah Sadiqullah, a prolific bomb-maker, was killed by a Hellfire missile fired from an Apache helicopter gunship.
One senior Taliban figure connected to all three men was Mullah Rahim, described as the insurgent leader in Helmand. He is said to have been a mentor to Mullah Sheikh, picked Bismullah as his chief lieutenant and had delegated explosives to Mullah Sadiqullah. On Sunday, just hours after Mullah Sheikh had been killed, Mullah Rahim gave himself up to authorities in Pakistan. One senior Western official, who deals with both Nato and Afghan forces on security matters, said : "Not all of the intelligence we are getting is being given for altruistic reasons. The Taliban movement is pretty amorphous and we are aware that different groupings appear to be passing on information. There appears to be a power struggle going on in the insurgent leadership across the [Pakistan] border and we are also aware that certain official bodies have their own agendas and that is reflected in what they tell us."
Another defence source said : "Whatever the ulterior motive... the fact is that we are getting rid of some pretty bad people."
In May last year Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban commander in Afghanistan, was shot dead by a SBS team between Sangin and Nahri Sarraj districts of Helmand. Senior aides of the Kandahar governor Assadullah Khalid, who ordered the body of the one-legged 40-year-old to be displayed, said that information on his movements had come from within the Taliban.
One officer with knowledge of the operation said there was suspicion that false information had been given after British troops failed to find Dadullah’s body following the firefight. But his remains were discovered along with a group of Taliban survivors who were trying to carry it away.
Five months ago Mullah Dadullah’s brother, Mansoor Dadullah, who is said to have held secret talks with the West about the possibility of changing sides, was critically wounded and captured by Pakistani security forces.
He had inherited the command of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan from his brother, but he is said to have held subsequent meetings with Western diplomats, acting on behalf of the British, to defect with 2,000 of his men. It was these talks, which the government of Hamid Karzai insisted were unauthorised, that led to the expulsion of Michael Semple, the acting head of the European Union mission to Afghanistan (who has worked as a British diplomat in Pakistan), and Mervyn Patterson, a senior UN official.
Just before the diplomats were thrown out, a Taliban spokesman said that Dadullah had been dismissed from his command for "disobeying orders" and activities "against the Taliban’s rules" at the orders of the movement’s spiritual leader, Mullah Omar.
Elements of the Pakistani security forces are known to have close ties with the Taliban and Western diplomatic sources say that Dadullah may have been eliminated because he had become a liability for the Islamist group and also as a warning to other leaders who may contemplate negotiating with the West. It also showed, said the officials, just how ruthless both sides can be in the new "Great Game".