The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said today that she was shocked by an attack in Afghanistan on Friday which left Associated Press photo journalist Anja Niedringhaus dead and her AP colleague, Kathy Gannon, injured.
The incident took place one day before presidential elections in Afghanistan. Both veteran journalists were shot by a policeman in the remote town of Khost near the border with Pakistan.
“I am dismayed by the brutal attack on these journalists and condemn the killing of Anja Niedringhaus,” the Director-General said. “I also wish Kathy Gannon a speedy and complete recovery.”
“Ms. Niedringhaus was a distinguished photo journalist who devoted her life to recording and publicizing the difficulties faced by people living in conflict situations,” Ms Bokova added. “Her death is a loss for us all and an attack on the people of Afghanistan as they struggle to build a better democratic future for their country.”
Niedringhaus, 48, and Gannon, 60, were travelling in a convoy of election workers with an escort of both the Afghan army and police. They were in a car with a driver and a freelance journalist when a policeman walked up to their car and opened fire.
Niedringhaus is the fifth journalist in Afghanistan whose killing has been condemned by the Director-General in 2014.