Anja Niedringhaus, 48, an internationally acclaimed German photographer, was killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire while she and AP correspondent Kathy Gannon were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan.
It is with grief and great sadness that I let you know that photographer Anja Niedringhaus has been killed while working in Afghanistan. Anja and Kathy Gannon, regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan, were in Khost covering the run-up to the presidential elections in Afghanistan when, it appears, they were targeted and attacked. Kathy survived, but Anja died. Kathy is being treated at a hospital.
Those of you who worked with Anja know what a life force she was: spirited, intrepid and fearless, with a raucous laugh that we will always remember. Based in Geneva, she joined AP in 2002, and worked throughout the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was one of a team of 11 AP photographers, and the only woman, to win the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Iraq. That same year, she was awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award. In 2006, she was awarded a Nieman fellowship to Harvard University.
Anja is the 32nd AP staffer to give their life in pursuit of the news since AP was founded in 1846. As conflict spreads throughout regions of the world, journalism has become more dangerous. Where once reporters and photographers were seen as the impartial eyes and ears of crucial information, today they are often targets. AP takes the security of its staff very seriously, equipping them with protective gear and intensive training. Yet even that is sometimes not enough.
This is a profession of the brave and the passionate, those committed to the mission of bringing to the world information that is fair, accurate and important. Anja Niedringhaus met that definition in every way. We will miss her terribly.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.