Hayatimin en mutsuz gunlerinden biri bugun. Korktugum basimiza geldi: Gazeteci Anja Niedringhaus Afganistan'da oldu! pic.twitter.com/SPGGuCHW4L
— Burhan Ozbilici (@BurhanOzbilici) April 4, 2014
An Associated Press photographer was shot and killed Friday and an AP reporter was wounded when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan, the AP reports. The two were on assignment covering the country’s upcoming presidential election.
Anja Niedringhaus, 48, a Pulitzer Prize-winning German photographer, was killed instantly, according to an AP Television News freelancer who witnessed the shooting.
Kathy Gannon, who had served as the news organization’s Afghanistan bureau chief and currently is a special correspondent for the region, was shot twice and later underwent surgery. The AP reports that she was described as being in stable condition.
“Anja is the 32nd AP staffer to give their life in pursuit of the news since AP was founded in 1846,” Gary Pruitt, Associated Press president, wrote in a memo to staff. “This is a profession of the brave and the passionate, those committed to the mission of bringing to the world information that is fair, accurate and important. Anja Niedringhaus met that definition in every way.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai also expressed his deep sadness over Niedringhaus’ death and the wounding of Gannon.
Niedringhaus was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for coverage of the war in Iraq. She joined the AP in 2002.
Gannon, 60, is a Canadian journalist based in Islamabad who has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for the AP since mid-1980s. She is the author of a book, “I Is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years Inside Afghanistan.”
Violence has plagued the country in the lead-up to Saturday’s election. On Wednesday a suicide bomber killed six policemen in central Kabul. Afghans will go to the polls to elect a president to succeed Hamid Karzai, who has governed Afghanistan since the 2001.
Since the beginning of the year, 13 journalists besides Niedringhaus have been killed while on assignment, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On March 11, Hong Kong-based journalist Nils Horner was killed in a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul.
The Associated Press shared a selection of photos representing Niedringhaus’ wide-ranging portfolio:
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) April 4, 2014