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June 6, 2016updated 24 Jun 2016 10:00am

US photographer for NPR and interpreter killed by rocket attack in Afghanistan

By Dominic Ponsford

US photojournalist David Gilkey and  interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna were killed yesterday whilst travelling with an Afghan army unit.

The pair (pictured above – credit NPR) were in an armoured Humvee driven by a soldier in the Afghan National Army who was also killed after the vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Helmand Province.

They were working for US broadcaster and publisher NPR.

Gilkey, 50, won the George Polk Award in 2010 and an Emmy in 2007.

NPR said in its report of his death: “His images were haunting — amid the rubble, he found beauty; amid war, he found humanity.”

US secretary of state John Kerry said: “This attack is a grim reminder of the danger that continues to face the Afghan people, the dedication of Afghan national defense and security forces to securing their country, and of the courage of intrepid journalists — and their interpreters — who are trying to convey that important story to the rest of the world.

“David Gilkey certainly never shied away from conveying those stories, whether there in Afghanistan or Somalia, Haiti, Gaza, Iraq and dozens of other places around the world. He was ‎more than a gifted photographer. He was a gifted story‎teller, who understood the power of imagery to enhancing the power of understanding. He will be sorely missed.”

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According to the Committee to Protect Journalists some 24 journalists and one media worker have been killed in the course of their work since US-led hostilities began in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

They include Sunday Mirror journalist Rupert Hamer who was killed in 2010 by improvised explosive device,.

NPR has showcased some of David Gilkey’s best work here.


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