Islamic State claims responsibility for deaths of three female journalists

 Islamic State claims responsibility for deaths of three female journalists
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The Islamic State says it is responsible for an attack that left three female journalists in eastern Afghanistan dead and injured another. 

The women, all less than 21 years old, were employed by a local news station in Jalalabad and were shot on their way home from work, Reuters reported. The Islamic State said this week its fighters had targeted the women. 

The fourth woman remains in a hospital in the city in critical condition. 

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Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s president, initially blamed the Taliban for the incident.

“Such attacks on our innocent compatriots, especially women, contradict the teachings of Islam, Afghan culture and the spirit of peace, and make the current crisis and war difficult and long,” a statement from Ghani’s office reads. 

Negotiators have been working through peace talks between extremist forces and the government in recent months, but a string of violent outbursts has injected tension into those debates. 

The Biden administration is facing a deadline on troop withdrawals in Afghanistan, where U.S. forces have been for more than a decade. 

“Without them meeting their commitments to renounce terrorism and to stop the violent attacks against the Afghan National Security Forces, it’s very hard to see a specific way forward for the negotiated settlement,” a Pentagon spokesperson said last month. “But we’re still committed to that.”