On April 13, VOA and RFE/RL provided coverage and context to Afghans audiences following the U.S. bombing of an Islamic State tunnel complex in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. The networks reported statements by the White House spokesperson and the Nangarhar province governor’s spokesperson about the attack, as well as the statement by U.S. President Trump. The RFE/RL and VOA Afghan Services coordinated their coverage of the news, with VOA reporters providing RFE/RL live reports for the Friday early morning programs on reactions to the attack in Washington. RFE/RL interviewed President Ghani’s spokesperson and shared information from a briefing by U.S. Commander Gen. John Nicholson on the attack, as well as interviewing Afghan analysts on how use of the bomb might affect ISIS and other radical militant groups operating in Afghanistan and the region.
Locals described to an RFE/RL reporter how their villages were shaken by the powerful blast and how ISIS militants had driven local families out of the area. A video report of reactions by residents of Nangarhar province’s Achin district, where the bomb was detonated, was viewed 600,000 times on RFE/RL’s English YouTube page, and was also seen more than 247,000 times on the Afghan Service’s Facebook page.