Lang (Reuters)
Lang (Reuters)

Canadian journalist’s death is 17th in Afghanistan since 9/11

New York, December 31, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalist extends condolences to the family and colleagues of Canadian journalist Michelle Lang, who died Wednesday while embedded with Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

Lang was working for the Calgary Herald and Canwest News Service when she was killed along with four Canadian soldiers while traveling in a Canadian military convoy. Their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb about two miles (three kilometers) south of the volatile city of Kandahar. Four other soldiers and a Canadian civilian were injured.

Lang is the 17th journalist to be killed in Afghanistan after conflict there began in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Eleven of those who died were foreign reporters; her death was the first of a Canadian journalist in Afghanistan. In November 2008, CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was released by kidnappers after being held for 28 days.

Lang was covering a provincial reconstruction team of soldiers and social workers that was working with Afghan civilians to help repair war damage, the Calgary Herald reported.

“Michelle Lang lost her life while working hard to tell the full story of Afghanistan to the world,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Afghanistan is an increasingly dangerous story to cover. Yet despite risks from roadside bombs and kidnappers, local and foreign reporters continue to pursue the news. Their role is vital in covering these events of global significance.”