NPR journalist from Portland killed in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Gilkey, a veteran news photographer and video editor for National Public Radio, and an Afghan translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, were killed while on assignment in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, a network spokeswoman said.

Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with an Afghan army unit near Marjah in Helmand province when the convoy came under fire and their vehicle was struck, the network’s spokeswoman, Isabel Lara, said in a statement. Two other NPR journalists, Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, were traveling with them and were unharmed.

Gilkey had covered conflict and war in Iraq and Afghanistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York and was committed to helping the public see the wars and the people caught up in them, NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director, Michael Oreskes, said in a statement

“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,” Oreskes said.

Gilkey, a Portland resident, was in the process of moving to Washington D.C.,according to the Wall Street Journal. He studied journalism at Oregon State University.

Tamanna was a freelancer who often worked for NPR, Lara, the spokeswoman, said in an email, but offered few details.

Gilkey covered both national and international news for the radio network and its website and had made numerous trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, according to NPR’s website.

His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious George Polk Award and a national Emmy. The White House Photographers Association named Gilkey Still Photographer of the Year in 2011. In 2015 he became the first multimedia journalist to receive the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of international breaking news, military conflicts and natural disasters.

“The things to do were amazing and the places to see were epic,” Gilkey once said of his work. “But the people, the people are what made it all worth the effort.”

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