Canadian reporter wounded and German photojournalist killed in eastern Afghanistan

Friday, April 4, 2014

By Francine Navarro

This morning two Associated Press journalists were attacked while working in eastern Afghanistan. Canadian reporter Kathy Gannon was wounded in the shooting, while German photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed.

The attack comes only one day before Afghanistan’s presidential election. The two journalists were riding in a car with a convoy of election workers travelling under the protection of the Afghan National Army and Afghan police.

In a statement released by his office, Afghan President Hamid Karzai states that the “two AP journalists had gone to Khost province to prepare reports about the presidential and provincial council elections.” The convoy had just arrived in a heavily-guarded compound when the shooting took place. The journalists’ car was waiting for the convoy to move when a unit commander approached the vehicle and fired shots at the two women, who were seated in the back seat.

Anja Niedringhaus, 48, was killed instantly. The photojournalist was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team awarded for their coverage of the war in Iraq. Kathy Gannon, 60, was shot twice and is said to be in stable condition after undergoing surgery. Gannon is the AP special correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan and is the author of I Is for Infidel. She has reportedly been transferred from a hospital in Khost to an advanced medical centre north of Kabul.

The commander responsible for the shooting was identified as a police officer named Naqibullah. He surrendered to police and has been arrested.

CJFE condemns this tragic attack and will be posting more on this case in the coming days.

More in the news

CBC | Kathy Gannon, Canadian reporter, wounded and photographer killed in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Journalists Center | AP photographer killed, report shot in south eastern Afghanistan
The Guardian | Two Associated Press journalists shot in Afghanistan
Toronto Star | AP photographer killed, Canadian reporter wounded in shooting in Afghanistan
Al Jazeera | Foreign journalist killed in east Afghanistan
BBC | Afghan policeman shoots dead AP reporter Niedringhaus