By Hannatu Sadiq
Taliban fighters have assassinated an Afghanistan government’s top media and information officer in the capital city of Kabul, the group’s spokesman and Afghan officials say.
The killing on Friday of Dawa Khan Minapal, came days after Taliban warned it would target senior administration officials in retaliation for increased air strikes, an official in the federal interior ministry confirmed.
“Unfortunately, the savage terrorists have committed a cowardly act once again and martyred a patriotic Afghan,” Interior Ministry spokesman, Mirwais Stanikzai said.
The deceased who had also served as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, was well known to Afghan journalists. A member of the inner circle of President Ghani revealed to Al Jazeera’s James Bays that he left home to go for Friday prayers and was killed.
Al Jazeera’s Bays earlier on Friday said the situation in Lashkar Gah is serious and the government might lose its first provincial capital. There is intense fighting going on around the intelligence headquarters in the centre of Lashkar Gah, and also around its main prison.
“The speculation is the Taliban might be trying to break into the prison, so that they can break out some of the inmates which we believe include Taliban detainees,” he said.
There is also claims that Afghan forces have killed one Taliban commander, Mawlawi Mubarak, who, according to the government, was the commander of the group’s Special Forces, called the red unit.
However, the Taliban is not confirming the commander’s death.