Chief photographer at Agence France Press (AFP), Shah Marai, was killed in a suicide attack at Shashdarak an area of Kabul in Afghanistan on Monday. Marai was covering the attack when he was killed alongside some reporters.
He and the deceased reporters had hastily arrived the scene to cover an initial explosion reportedly carried out by an attacker on a motorbike.
About fifteen minutes later, after a crowd and reporters had gathered at the scene, another explosion went off, killing at least 25 people. Five other journalists working for local media were among the victims.
In a statement made available to TheCable, AFP said the second bomb was detonated by an attacker who disguised as a television cameraman.
In his reaction, Fabrice Fries, AFP chairman, said “This tragedy reminds us of the danger that our teams continually face on the ground and the essential role journalists play for democracy.
“Our thoughts and our condolences go out to his family and the families of the other journalists killed.”
According to the statement, Marai joined AFP as a driver and fixer in 1996. He later became a photographer, then head photographer.
After the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, Marai, who comes from the Shamali Plain north of Kabul, covered the country’s many upheavals.
He is survived by six children, including a daughter born only a few weeks ago.
Ahmad Shah, a BBC reporter, was also killed in a separate attack in Khost city on Monday.
“Ahmad Shah was 29. He had worked for the BBC Afghan service for more than a year and had already established himself as a highly capable journalist who was a respected and popular member of the team,” Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service, said.