By BosNewsLife News Center
KABUL/BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)– The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Friday, March 4, condemned “the cold blooded killing” of a prominent German photographer in Afghanistan, ahead of Saturday’s presidential elections.
Anja Niedringhaus, 48, was shot and killed at the outskirt of Afghanistan’s Khost city, the EFJ told BosNewsLife in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a courageous colleague who has risked her life for bringing the truth to the people,” said EFJ Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Niedringhaus, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Iraq War, had been working for The Associated Press (AP) news agency as a staff photographer since 2002. In the past years, she had been working in Afghanistan covering the conflict and its impact on local citizens.
The AP said in a statement that Niedringhaus was shot dead instantly by a unit commander at the heavily guarded compound in the Tani district while she travelled with Canadian freelance journalist Kathy Gannon, in a convoy of election workers.
CANADIAN JOURNALIST INJURED
The 60-year-old Gannon, who also worked for the AP, was injured in the attack, but is now in a stable condition at the hospital, EFJ said. Following the shooting, the killer was reportedly detained by police.
“The cold blooded killing is clearly a specific targeting of journalists,” Gutiérrez said. “The government and local authorities must do more to ensure the safety of journalists reporting in the country.”
EFJ affiliates in Germany, DJV and dju.verdi also expressed their “great dismay” at the murder of their colleagues and sent their thoughts to his family. Niedringhaus was the second Western journalist killed during the election campaign after Swedish journalist Nils Horner was shot dead in Kabul on March 11.
Christian aid workers and missionaries have also been killed in recent years, BosNewsLife reported earlier, raising questions about the next president’s ability or willingness to combat rising Islamic extremism in the country.
“The day I enter a war zone and think it is normal, is the day I will stop covering wars,” Niedringhaus reportedly said.