Photographer Killed, Reporter Injured on Eve of Presidential Election in Afghanistan

Afghanistan reporters
Bullet holes are seen in the car in which Associated Press (AP) photographer Anja Niedringhaus and reporter Kathy Gannon were travelling when they were shot at, in Khost province April 4, 2014. Reuters

KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) - An Afghan policeman shot two foreign journalists working for Associated Press in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, killing one and wounding the other, the news agency said.

The attack took place on the eve of a presidential election that Taliban insurgents have pledged to disrupt through a campaign of bombings and assassinations.

The AP said photographer Anja Niedringhaus had been killed and reporter Kathy Gannon wounded while they were sitting in their car.

Niedringhaus, 48, an internationally acclaimed German photographer, was killed instantly, according to an AP Television freelancer who witnessed the shooting.

Canadian reporter Kathy Gannon, 60, was wounded twice and was receiving medical attention, the AP said.

She was described as being in stable condition and talking to medical personnel, it said.

"Anja and Kathy together have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people there. Anja was a vibrant, dynamic journalist well-loved for her insightful photographs, her warm heart and joy for life. We are heartbroken at her loss," AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, speaking in New York, told the agency.

The two journalists were in a remote small town on Afghanistan's border with Pakistan when the attack took place.

Last month, a prominent Afghan journalist with the Agence France-Presse news agency was killed alongside eight other people when Taliban gunmen opened fire inside a heavily fortified luxury hotel in the center of the capital, Kabul.