The US Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on Wednesday condemned the “barbaric and senseless assassination” of Yousuf Rasheed, CEO of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).

“We join the Afghan people in condemning this barbaric and senseless assassination of Yousuf Rasheed, who was a tireless advocate for democracy. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” tweeted the bureau as quoted by Tolo News.

“The United States has repeatedly made clear that our vision for peace is of a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan. Yousuf Rasheed was a courageous advocate for that vision. His voice will not be silenced,” it continued, “The future of Afghanistan cannot be foreclosed by murder but must be resolved at the negotiating table.”

Rasheed was killed by unknown gunmen in Kabul city on Wednesday morning, his brother confirmed, as reported by Tolo News. No group, including the Taliban, has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Tolo News further reported that the incident comes after a dramatic surge in a targeted killing in Afghanistan over the past two months.

On Sunday, a journalist in Ghazni, Rahmatullah Nikzad, was killed in an attack by armed men outside his home in Ghazni, to which the Taliban denied involvement.

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