Washington: Award-winning US photojournalist David Gilkey, working for American broadcaster National Public Radio (NPR), was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday while on assignment. Gilkey, 50, was travelling with an Afghan Army unit in Helmand province when the convoy came under fire and his vehicle was hit, NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara said in a statement.
An Afghan translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, 38, was also killed, EFE news reported. Two other NPR journalists, Tom Bowman and Monika Evstatieva, were travelling in a separate vehicles and escaped unharmed. Tamanna had also worked as a photographer earlier.
Gilkey was considered one of the best photojournalists in the world and had received several awards including a George Polk award in 2010, an Emmy award in 2007 and dozens of distinctions from the White House News Photographers Association.
“David has been covering war and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. He was devoted to helping the public see these wars and the people caught up in them. He died pursuing that commitment,” said NPR’s Senior Vice President Michael Oreskes.
“As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other through his eyes,” Oreskes added.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 27 journalists have died in Afghanistan since 1992.
The CPJ said nearly 90 per cent of journalists killed worldwide since 1992 were locals. But in Afghanistan 75 per cent of the reporters killed in the same period have been foreign journalists.