Award-winning NPR photographer, translator killed in Afghanistan

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Sunday, June 5, 2016
david gilkey
NPR journalist David P. Gilkey

Award-winning NPR photographer David Gilkey and an Afghan translator were killed in southern Afghanistan, NPR confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Gilkey, and his translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, "were on assignment for the network traveling with an Afghan army unit, which came under attack killing David and Zabihullah," according to NPR.

"David was considered one of the best photojournalists in the world - honored with a raft of awards including a George Polk in 2010, an Emmy in 2007 and dozens of distinctions from the White House News Photographers Association," an NPR statement posted online said.

The pair were traveling with an Afghan army unit when the convoy came under fire. Their vehicle was struck by shell fire.

Gilkey was traveling on assignment with NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, who were traveling in a separate vehicle and physically unharmed.

Gilkey had been covering war and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. He joined NPR in 2007 from the Detroit Free Press. He also worked at the Boulder (CO) Daily Camera, where he handled local assignments for the paper and overseas assignments for Knight Ridder, according to his online biography.

In an email to NPR's staff Sunday evening, its President & CEO Jarl Mohn wrote: "As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other, through his eyes. 'The things to do were amazing and the places to see were epic,' David once said of his work. 'But the people, the people are what made it all worth the effort.'"