“Dear Mr President, the land of Farah has no more capacity to build cemeteries for our youth,” Afghan journalist Javid Noori, 27, wrote on his Facebook page in November, frustrated at the rising number of civilian casualties in his home province in western Afghanistan.

“We would thank you to provide us land for graveyards to bury 20 people at a time,” he wrote, along with updates on civilian casualties of Afghanistan’s long-running insurgency by the Taliban.

A few weeks later, the radio show host became a victim himself.

Noori was travelling with relatives on Saturday when their vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint set up by Taliban insurgents in Nadarabad district. Upon being identified as a journalist, Noori was taken aside by the militants and executed, becoming the first Afghan media worker to be killed in 2019 after a particularly deadly year for the profession.

“The Taliban had a checkpoint on the main road and had stopped our cars. They took about 50 to 60 male passengers and took us far away from the main road. I was walking right behind Mr Noori and his relatives,” a witness told The National.

“I noticed that they recognised Noori and his [relatives] and were asking them questions,” he said. The Taliban eventually let some of the passengers go, but took Noori and his family aside.

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