NATO says soldier killed Afghan reporter for BBC

AP News
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Posted: Sep 08, 2011 2:42 PM
NATO says soldier killed Afghan reporter for BBC

A NATO soldier killed an Afghan reporter for the BBC in July because he mistook him for an insurgent, the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said Thursday .

NATO said an investigation showed the soldier thought reporter Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, 25, was wearing a suicide bomb vest and was about to detonate it. The shooting took place in Tarin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province, on July 28 during a militant attack targeting the Afghan government and its allies.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, ordered the investigation.

The report found the soldier involved in the shooting "complied with the laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement and acted reasonably under the circumstances."

The BBC said the report had ended "a period of uncertainty" about Khpulwak's death and it would be studying the findings.

"Ahmed Omed's death further highlights the great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world," said Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News. "It is essential that journalists are given the best possible protection whilst reporting in dangerous situations so that the world can hear their stories."

Twenty-three journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, making it the 10th most dangerous country for journalists.