Indonesian Journalists Forced to Seek Shelter During Kabul Attacks

By webadmin on 03:57 pm Apr 16, 2012
Category Archive

Ratna Nuraini

Four Indonesian journalists had to seek shelter in Kabul after finding themselves in the middle of a brazen 18-hour attack by Taliban-linked militants over the weekend.

M. Farhan, of the Indonesian radio station Delta FM and his assistant Eka Irawan, along with Asep Bina of Suara Merdeka and Moh. Sidik, a journalist with a Bandung-based radio station, had been in the Afghan capital since April 1, working on a project with the Afghan Anti-Narcotics Ministry.

The four about to head to the airport Sunday afternoon when gunshots rang out.

“We were about to head to the airport after attending a lunch banquet at
the Indonesian Embassy [in Kabul].  But, we had to cancel the plan
because we were not allowed to travel and we were asked to secure
ourselves inside available bunkers,” Farhan told over the
phone from Kabul on Monday.

The journalists sought shelter in a bunker at the Park Star Hotel in Kabul. They were only able to emerge 15 hours later.

Outside Farhan could hear gunshots and explosions ring out through the capital.

The attack left 36 insurgents, eight policemen and three civilians dead in three Afghan cities. It is the largest attack on Kabul since last September’s assault on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters.

Farhan said that the situation had returned to normal in Kabul.

“It’s getting better now in Kabul. We’ve returned to each of our own rooms to rest,” he said.

The four were waiting for an escort
from the Indonesian Embassy to to the airport, Farhan said. They plan to
return home.

“Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa made a
direct call to us from Jakarta to ensure our safety. He said he would
monitor our return trip,” Farhan said.

BeritaSatu/ Associated Press