Three young women who worked for a TV station in Afghanistan were gunned down in two separate attacks as they walked home from work in Jalalabad Tuesday, authorities say. Police say a fourth woman was shot and critically injured, the BBC reports. The three women killed were between 18 and 20 years old. Police say the lead attacker was arrested and has Taliban links, though a Taliban spokesman denied any connection to the killings, reports Reuters. Enikass TV says four of its 10 female employees have been killed in the space of three months. In December, the regional ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility after another woman who worked for the station was killed.
The station says the slain employees worked dubbing dramas from India and Turkey into local languages, the AP reports. The killings come amid a wider wave of attacks targeting journalists, activists, and politicians. At least 15 media workers have been killed in the last six months. "These attacks are meant to intimidate; they are intended to make reporters cower; the culprits hope to stifle freedom of speech in a nation where the media has flourished during the past 20 years. This cannot be tolerated," the US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)