Others showed life going on among the killing: a Canadian soldier with a sunflower stuck in his helmet, a young girl testing her artificial limbs, while her sister teasingly tries to steal her crutches, a bearded Afghan man and grinning boy listening to music on an iPod borrowed from German soldiers.
At an exhibit of her work in Berlin in 2011, Niedringhaus said: “Sometimes I feel bad because I can always leave the conflict, go back home to my family where there’s no war.”
Niedringhaus started her career as a freelance photographer for a local newspaper in her hometown in Hoexter, Germany, at age 16. She worked for the European Press Photo Agency before joining the AP and had published two books.
Gannon, a Canadian journalist based in Islamabad, has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for the AP since the mid-1980s. A former Edward R. Murrow fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, she is the author of a book on the country, “I Is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years Inside Afghanistan.” She also was awarded the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, in 2002.
After Friday’s attack, Gannon underwent surgery in Khost and was said to be stable. She was then flown to Kabul for further treatment.
Niedringhaus drew praise Friday from battlefields to the White House. She was honored at a United Nations briefing, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, tweeted condolences. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said she and Gannon were in President Obama’s thoughts and prayers.
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren condemned “this senseless act of violence against these brave professionals covering this important political transition in Afghanistan.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists said the loss of Niedringhaus and the wounding of Gannon “reflect the heightened dangers of reporting from Afghanistan.”