GENEVA: The number of journalists killed this year has soared to 44 in 18 countries during the first four months of 2018, up from 28 in the same period last year, the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said on Wednesday.
The PEC said it "deplored the dramatic increase in media victims as the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day on May 3", adding the number of journalists killed from January to April has soared by 57 per cent from the same period last year.
"The PEC is appalled by the death of nine journalists in two explosions in the Afghan capital Kabul on April 30", Xinhua quoted the PEC as saying, adding that it strongly condemned "this heinous terrorist attack targeting journalists among the crowd".
An attacker, disguised as a cameraman, detonated explosives at the site of the initial explosion.
The most dangerous countries since the beginning of this year are Afghanistan with 11 killed, Mexico 4, Syria 4, Ecuador 3, India 3, Yemen 3, and two each in Brazil, Gaza, Guatemala and Pakistan.
"Following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Jan Kuciak in Slovakia, PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen calls upon states to take additional measures for protecting journalists by running independent investigations, coupled with follow-ups to reach the perpetrators and to bring them to justice at all levels," the PEC said.