Taliban fighters kill Afghan president’s top media adviser

Taliban fighters kill Afghan president’s top media adviser
Dawa Khan Menapal, who had previously served as the spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, was reportedly killed on a main road west of Kabul on Friday afternoon.
2 min read
06 August, 2021
The Afghan interior ministry confirmed Menapal’s death but did not specify who was responsible [Getty]

Taliban fighters have killed the top media adviser for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, according to a spokesman for the militant group.

Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of the country's Government Media and Information Centre, was killed on a main road west of Kabul, according to a tweet by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the Menapal's death but did not say who was responsible.

Prior to his role as media adviser, Menapal had served as the spokesman for President Ghani between 2016 and 2020. He was a graduate of law and political science and hailed from Zabul in southern Afghanistan, according to Afghan broadcaster TOLO.

The attack comes after Taliban insurgents launched a raid on on the capital, which has been spared much of the violence gripping large parts of the country, particularly rural areas.

The bomb-and-gun attack on Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammed Tuesday night was a response to air raids by the Afghan and US militaries to stem the Taliban advance, the Taliban’s spokesman said at the time.

Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had described it as the start of "retaliatory operations against the circles and leaders of the Kabul administration".

In regions where fighting is heavy, including Herat, near the western border with Iran, Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province and Kandahar in the south, the Taliban appear focused on attacking provincial cities.

Sustained attacks in those areas have stretched Afghan special forces thin, with dozens of civilians killed and thousands displaced.

While a military takeover of Kabul is a much harder compared to seizing those cities, experts believe the group may increase bombings and attacks to undermine security and public morale.

Agencies contributed to this report.