Two AP journalists wounded in Afghanistan IED attack

New York, August 12, 2009–Tuesday’s roadside bomb attack that seriously wounded two Associated Press journalists highlights the dangers journalists face in covering the escalating conflict in Afghanistan. 

AP’s report of the attack said photographer Emilio Morenatti and AP Television News videographer Andi Jatmiko were injured while embedded with the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan as they were traveling in a military vehicle. Jatmiko suffered leg injuries and two broken ribs. Morenatti, badly wounded in the leg, underwent an operation that resulted in the loss of his foot.

“The frightening reality is that as the conflicts in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan grow, we can expect more of these sorts of attacks on journalists,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Local and foreign journalists, whether they choose to embed themselves or operate independently, are working under increasingly dangerous conditions in Afghanistan.”

According to a report last month by the British Ministry of Defense, the use of roadside bombs increased by 114 percent in Afghanistan this year compared to the same period last year. The report said 73 percent of the troops killed during combat operations were killed by the improvised explosive devices, often called IEDs.

Sixteen journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to CPJ research.

“Our are thoughts are with Emilio Morenatti and Andi Jatmiko and their families,” Dietz said. “We hope they will be able to resume their careers once they have recovered from their injuries.”