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Journalist killed by roadside bomb in southern Helmand province

November 4, 2016

Lashkargah: A journalist working for Afghan private television station Ariana News was killed by a roadside bomb in the capital of southern province of Helmand on Friday morning.

Zainullah Stankzai, freelance journalist and provincial representative for the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), said” Nematullah Zaheer and I were among a group of journalists traveling to report on a police operation in the second district of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.”

“It was around 9 am that the convoy came under fire and police advised us to leave the main road, I took off  the vehicle, but shortly after leaving the road, the vehicle hit an improvised explosive device(IED), killed Zaheer and seriously wounded his driver Abdul Mannaf “ Stankzai add

Prior to Nematullah's death, at least 11 journalists had been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

“AFJC's records show that the death of Zaheer brought to more than 65 the number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan since the falling of the Taliban regime in 2001; with 12 dead just this year makes 2016 the deadliest year for the media community in Afghanistan” said Ahmad Quraishi, Executive director of AFJC

In January, seven media workers of Tolo TV channel including four women were killed and about 16 others wounded after a Taliban suicide car bombing struck a minibus in the Afghan capital city Kabul. A week later, an RTA journalist was murdered by unidentified gunmen in Eastern Nangarhar province and in June two NPR journalists were killed while on assignment in southern Helmand province. 

AFJC calls on Afghan government, particularly security forces to strengthen their efforts to secure journalists’ safety and media institutions to put in place all possible means to limit the risks incurred by war correspondents.

 

Two NPR journalists killed on assignment in Afghanistan

Jun 5, 2016

Lashkargah: David Gilkey, a veteran news photographer and video editor for National Public Radio, and an Afghan translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, were killed while on assignment in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the network said in an statement.

According to NPR, David and Zabihullah were on assignment for the network traveling with an Afghan army unit. They were in an armored Humvee driven by a soldier of the Afghan National Army. All three were killed after the Humvee was hit by rocket propelled grenades in an apparent ambush.

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva were also in the convoy, traveling in a separate vehicle. They were not injured.

Tom reports that when the journalists' remains arrived by helicopter at Camp Shorab in Helmand Province — where the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division has a training mission — an honor guard of "dozens and dozens" of U.S. soldiers stood at attention and saluted.

David was 50 and Zabihullah, who for years also worked as a photographer, was 38.

David was considered one of the best photojournalists in the world — honored with a raft of awards including a George Polk Award in 2010, a national News and Documentary Emmy in 2007 and dozens of distinctions from the White House News Photographers Association, including 2011 Still Photographer of the Year.

It is fair to say that David witnessed some of humanity's most challenging moments: He covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He covered the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He covered the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. He covered the devastating earthquake in Haiti, famine in Somalia and most recently the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

His images were haunting — amid the rubble, he found beauty; amid war, he found humanity.

Back in 2010, after he covered the earthquake in Haiti, he talked about his craft. The camera, he said, made things easier.

"It's not like you put the camera to your face and therefore it makes what you're seeing OK, but certainly you can put yourself in a zone," David said. "It's hard, but you can't get caught up in it and become part of it. You still need to maintain your state of mind that you are helping tell this story."

His craft, he said, was about more than journalism.

"It's not just reporting. It's not just taking pictures," he said. "It's, 'Do those visuals, do the stories, do they change somebody's mind enough to take action?'"

In an email to staff, Michael Oreskes, NPR's vice president for news, said David died pursuing that commitment.

"As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him," Michael said. "He let us see the world and each other through his eyes."

Keith Jenkins, the general manager for digital at the National Geographic Society who edited David at NPR, said he and David talked a lot about the dangers of the work David was doing and how much longer he could keep doing it.

"Ultimately, he felt it was really important to tell those stories and to tell them to a society that can very often forget that we have people in harm's way on a daily basis," Keith said.

David also understood those risks.

"It's a very hard thing to put into words, the peace you sort of make with what you're gonna be doing," David said. "I'm not saying you walk into these situations and you're fatalistic about it but you also are preparing and making decisions based on the sort of level of threat that is there."

Zabihullah, who was known as Zabi, worked as a photojournalist for the Chinese news agency Xinhua. More recently, he wrote for Turkey's Anadolu News Agency. Zabihullah kept a tick-tock on the country. He wrote the big news — when a new Afghani president was sworn in — but also covered the daily attacks and drone strikes that killed militants and civilians.

NPR's Philip Reeves recruited Zabihullah to NPR. He called him a "great colleague."

"He was a lovely man, with a great eye for a story and deep wisdom about his country," Philip said. "He clearly loved his family."

 

Ruhani's sixth death anniversary observed



Lashkargah, June 9, 2014

The journalists of southern Helmand province marked the sixth aniversory of the slain reporter Abdul Samad Rohani in Lashkargah.

Helmand's journalists call the Afghan government to end the impunity and bring his murderers of Ruhani to justice.

He was freelancing for Pajhwok Afghan News and the BBC in Helmand .he was abducted &murdered on 8 June2008.

Rohani, 25, the oldest son in a family of seven children, left behind two Wives and four children.

Abdul Samad Rohani, BBC and Pajhwok Afghan News reporter

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