KABUL, Afghanistan — An unknown assailant sprayed acid in the face of a prominent Afghan journalist and author, apparently in retaliation for his politically charged writing, the victim and officials said Wednesday.
Razaq Mamoon was not critically injured, but his face was splotchy with red and black patches as he spoke to an Afghan television station from his hospital bed in the capital.
Mamoon said he walking near his house in a residential neighborhood of Kabul on Tuesday evening when a man ran up behind him.
"I turned. I didn't see his face. His face was covered. And then he threw the acid on me," Mamoon told Tolo TV. "I felt the burning everywhere: on my hands, chest and especially on my face." He said he was wearing glasses, which kept his eyes relatively protected.
President Hamid Karzai issued a statement condemning the attack and promising to get Mamoon further treatment abroad if needed. Karzai called Mamoon after the attack to personally inquire on his condition, the statement said.
Mamoon rose to prominence in Afghanistan as the host of a hard-charging political show on Tolo TV in which he was known for grilling government officials. The show ended more than a year ago, but Mamoon has continued to write for a number of Kabul papers on political topics. He recently finished a book on the assassination of Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massood, claiming that Iran had a role in Massood's killing.
Mamoon said he has received multiple threats because of his writing and said the publisher of his book was recently promised a large payment if they would cancel the print run. The publisher declined.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack. Mohammad Zahir, the chief of criminal investigation for the Kabul police, said they were investigating the attack and that no one had been arrested by Wednesday afternoon.