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Two embedded AP journalists wounded in Afghanistan IED attack

US soldiers from the 5th Striker Brigade take position next to Sari Ghundi village as they patrol near the Pakistani border, about 100 km (63 miles) southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Monday, August 10, 2009.

Tuesday's roadside bomb attack that seriously wounded two Associated Press journalists highlights the dangers journalists face in covering the escalating conflict in Afghanistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said.

AP's report of the attack said Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti and AP Television News Indonesian videographer Andi Jatmiko were injured while embedded with the US military in southern Afghanistan as they were travelling in a military vehicle. Jatmiko suffered leg injuries and two broken ribs. Morenatti, badly wounded in the leg, underwent an operation that resulted in the loss of his foot.

"The frightening reality is that as the conflicts in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan grow, we can expect more of these sorts of attacks on journalists," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia programme coordinator. "Local and foreign journalists, whether they choose to embed themselves or operate independently, are working under increasingly dangerous conditions in Afghanistan."

“What happened is very regrettable and our thoughts go out to the families of the injured journalists,” Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) said. “The mounting violence will result in restrictions on the quantity and quality of news coverage. The Afghan authorities and all parties to the conflict should ensure that respect for media freedom is a priority.”

According to a report last month by the British Ministry of Defence, the use of roadside bombs increased by 114 per cent in Afghanistan this year compared to the same period last year. The report said 73 per cent of the troops killed during combat operations were killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Sixteen journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to CPJ research.

"Our are thoughts are with Emilio Morenatti and Andi Jatmiko and their families," Dietz said. "We hope they will be able to resume their careers once they have recovered from their injuries."

Date posted: August 13, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 748