The director of Afghanistan’s media and information centre was killed by Taliban militants in the capital, Kabul. The local newspaper Tolo reports that Dawa Khan Menapal was killed by gunmen on the Darul Aman road in the capital.
He regularly tweeted the Afghan government’s position and had more than 142,000 followers on Twitter. The killing comes days after the Taliban assaulted the defence minister’s home in Kabul.
After the attack on Wednesday – the first major bomb attack by militants in the city for almost a year – the Taliban warned against further attacks on government officials.
“Unfortunately, the savage terrorists have once again committed a cowardly act and tortured a patriotic Afghan,” said Interior Ministry spokeswoman Mirwais Stanikzai.
The UN Security Council convened an open session on Friday on the situation in Afghanistan amid escalating violence.
Taliban militants have seized large parts of the countryside and are now attacking key cities, including Kandahar in the south, economically important Herat, and Lashkar Gar – the capital of Helmand province.
This comes after the US and other international forces announced their retirement after two decades of operations.
Diplomats said Afghan government officials requested the meeting because of the escalating unrest. It starts at 10:00 local time (14:00 GMT) in New York, diplomats said.
On Thursday night, US and Afghan forces launched airstrikes on Taliban positions in Lashkar Gah.
Government troops promised not to lose the strategically important city, and there was fierce fighting. Officials urged civilians to evacuate, with thousands trapped or fleeing for their lives.
Presenting white space Neighbouring nations will also discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Friday.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have sent diplomats to the Turkmen city of Avaza on the Caspian Sea for annual talks.
Turkish President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov called Afghanistan “the question we are all concerned about” during a state television broadcast on Wednesday, AFP reported.
Russia has meanwhile held military exercises with Uzbek forces this week, amid growing concerns about security in the region – including the capture of key Afghan border crossings over the past month.
On Thursday, the European Union called for an urgent, comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan as “senseless violence” escalates.