New York, June 5, 2016 – Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna and American photographer David Gilkey were killed today while traveling in a military convoy in southern Afghanistan, according to their employer, U.S. public broadcaster NPR. The two were traveling with an Afghan army unit near Marjah, in Helmand province, when the convoy came under attack.
“Even though much of the world’s attention has shifted away, let no one doubt that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place for journalists — local and foreign — working to cover that protracted conflict,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “We are deeply saddened by the deaths of Zabihullah Tamanna and David Gilkey. There are too many journalists who have given their lives to tell the Afghan story.”
CPJ research shows that 24 journalists and one media worker have been killed in Afghanistan since the increase in U.S.-led hostilities against the Taliban and other militant groups following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York. Those numbers do not include Gilkey or Tamanna. Of those 24 journalists, four were photographers. In CPJ’s database of journalists killed in the line of duty worldwide since 1992, nearly 90 percent of victims were local. In Afghanistan, however, three-quarters of the victims have been international journalists.