KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Anja Niedringhaus, a courageous and immensely talented Associated Press photographer who has covered everything from sports to war, was killed while covering elections in Afghanistan on Friday.
Niedringhaus was in a car in eastern Afghanistan with AP reporter Kathy Gannon when, according to a freelancer who was with them, an Afghan policeman approached them, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was wounded.
Niedringhaus has long been recognized for her expertise in gaining a subject’s trust and photographing them with a style that is immediately recognizable. Her attention to detail, composition and light come together to not only tell insightful stories but also to create works of art.
Niedringhaus covered conflict zones including Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Gaza and the West Bank during a 20-year stretch, beginning with the Balkans in the 1990s. She had traveled to Afghanistan numerous times since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
Niedringhaus, who also covered sports events around the globe, has received numerous awards for her works.
She was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for coverage of the war in Iraq, and was awarded the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation. She joined the AP in 2002 and had since been based in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2006 to 2007, she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship in journalism at Harvard University.