Afghanistan - Two AP journalists badly injured by roadside bomb near Kandahar

    MONTREAL, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders's concern
about the growing dangers for journalists in the run-up to the 20 August
presidential election has been heightened by the news that two foreign
journalists embedded with the US military were seriously injured by a roadside
bomb today near the southern city of Kandahar.
    "What happened today is very regrettable and our thoughts go out to the
families of the injured journalists," Reporters Without Borders said. "The
mounting violence will result in restrictions on the quantity and quality of
news coverage. The Afghan authorities and all parties to the conflict should
ensure that respect for media freedom is a priority."
    Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti and Indonesian cameraman Andi
Jatmiko, both employees of the US news agency, the Associated Press, were
travelling with a US military convoy when their vehicle was hit by roadside
bomb. The AP said Jatmiko sustained leg and rib injuries while Morenatti
sustained such severe leg injuries that a foot had to be amputated.
    The situation in Afghanistan is worsening steadily for journalists, who
are either the direct target of press freedom violations (see the report on
our fact-finding visit) or fall victim to the mounting violence. When working
on their own, they are targeted by the Taliban or criminal groups but they are
just as vulnerable when embedded with the NATO military forces.

    According to an independent NGO, the number of incidents involving IEDs
(improvised explosive devices) increased to 828 in July. Ordinary civilians
make up the bulk of the victims of the fighting, but a total of 20 journalists
were reportedly killed in the 17 years to the end of 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)

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