Associated Press Photographer Killed In Afghanistan on Eve of Historic Election

Pulitzer Prize winner Anja Niedringhaus dead at 48
3:00 | 04/04/14

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Transcript for Associated Press Photographer Killed In Afghanistan on Eve of Historic Election
This is a special group. I'm Dan Cutler and New York. A reporter photographer for the Associated Press attacked in Afghanistan today. One of them killed the other injured both women veteran journalists who cover the region for two decades. On -- need Driehaus a veteran photographer for the Associated Press covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than twenty years. And her work during the Iraq War earned her and her colleagues. The Pulitzer Prize of 20051 of the highest awards journalistic excellence. -- -- house died from a gunshot wound to the head. A police officer who walked -- to the car -- was riding in along with her colleague Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon who was also wounded in that shooting. ABC's -- is in Kabul Afghanistan and joins us now with the latest on this story Mohamed. Well Dan certainly has been a very long day for us here and -- it's it's always difficult. Portland senseless violence that happens in Afghanistan. -- it more difficult when you knew the victims of that violence. Kathy me it was based in is based in Islamabad that's right as the -- most time. And she -- she is mentor she is friends she's. Asian -- -- has been inseparable. To put this into context. You know both of these wonderful workers but they traveled the country is though -- goals against that much respect to Afghanistan mean. Kathy was car covering the Taliban before anyone really even -- with the Taliban war. As you said she's been here for decades and has been covering -- Afghanistan such a long time and -- tremendous loss for the journalists communities were Associated Press for anyone who -- line yeah. Especially her family and answer to -- immediately today our thoughts all of -- ABC's it's going to those people who have been -- it is. Mohammed I wanted to -- -- -- just kind of and the very beginning here it's almost as if journalists. Had almost been off limits and now is -- -- rethinking of that in fact that there could be a target. Well this is the third -- and in roughly the last three or four weeks that's. This is but we just arrived in Kabul. Who outside an upscale supermarket when he was shot by -- -- confidence -- I'm just after that there's an Afghan journalist who's having dinner with his family when a group of gunman sworn into the hotel restaurant reason dinner. And shot him again point blank range. He shot his wife and -- your children. And now we -- this attack on his AP journalists who -- out even in one of the more volatile provinces of Afghanistan that -- part of an official convoy with Afghan police. The Afghan police were there to protect them in this case it was an officer involved shooting. Where is -- now. What -- was air lifted from. A hospital in Khost Province which is in eastern Afghanistan. She was first to be taken into Bagram air field but the slight. Sort of from -- she was diverted to a military hospital here in Kabul it's one of the best military hospitals in the entire country in fact. -- when journalists get very sick or injured. We -- to go to that specific military hospital where cat he's being treated there is some good news we've been told that she's awake. She's been speaking with her colleagues. And we do believe she is clinical services. What do we know that about the police officer that shot them. Well we know his name his name was -- people law he was police commander. And -- we spoke with interpreter who is with -- idea by their side basically all this happened. Interpreter said -- actually -- in -- that police officer at this police district headquarters. Throughout the better part of the morning. In other words were interacting with and they saw -- they didn't suspect anything in suspect any violence. And and they were completely shocking interpreter says he's completely shocked. Winds for seemingly no reason this police commander walked up to the back seat of their car opened fire with his AK 47 -- -- -- A killing on -- instantly and seriously wounding Cassie. We do you know that this police officer shouted out -- is great in Arabic is forty opened fire. And again according to the interpreter he did not resist arrest in -- -- is Sunni he committed that a terrible terrible act. But is hasn't -- here and he waited to be arrested. Mohamad I want to ask you -- -- obviously safety is current -- to ABC and I -- other news organizations as well. But for those like you that are on the ground there what kind of discussions. Are taking place today obviously mourning the loss. And also hoping that Kathy is gonna make a strong recovery but at the same time that you also have to look at your own safety -- -- not. -- -- any -- a journalist -- target and whether or -- they're killed even if they're injured even if it's just slightly injured all of the journalists here take a step back in the state. Let's assess the situation let's see what's going on. The problem when it's what's happened to Kathy and what happened on yet. Is that we don't fully know what's going on we don't know if they were targeted specifically because journalists we don't know if you were targeted because they were -- Western women in -- province where -- western women are you know totally welcome. We just don't know a lot of question marks and tallied and sometimes those question marks are worse than having you know concrete and our knowledge. We just don't know and so when that happens lot of journalists -- kind of pull back and say okay well. Let's talk about how we cover these elections there's never been any -- and I should say. Credit goes to AB CD there's never been any talk about hey let's not it is election. Some acknowledgment here. These elections or watershed moment in Afghanistan's history that they deserve to be covered -- could be the biggest turnout ever and you know the best way to pay tribute to idea. And Kathy who spent so much of their life documenting these stores in Afghanistan is stick around into continue to work that we are here to do that is to tell the story of the Afghan elections. Denver less than twelve hours away from the beginning of those elections it's one of the rare times in Afghanistan where people will be fighting bullets with ballots. And all of us are hoping that the ballots and tomorrow and part of our job is to make sure that we document that our process for the world to see. When I ask you don't need -- she is the third journalist though from the -- press corps killed in the past month. The same time march was the first month in -- -- CUS soldiers died in combat. Journalists. Is it is the role different has -- changed in Afghanistan is in light of in in the eyes of the Taliban. You know what's changed is actually the bigger picture. In this is something our American audiences -- can appreciate. There was a time when America -- forces were responsible for security across the entire -- -- if you wanted to go somewhere. It was a simple -- -- NATO or the US forces that are based here in -- can we come with you and most of the time they would say yes. That is no longer the case it's -- Afghan security forces that are in charge of security across the entire country. In previous elections it was American troops that we're securing the election process as they were helping -- ballot boxes from. Police station polling station bringing them all back to -- This is an entirely Afghan. Led and an Afghan -- process. On and it's too early -- say how successful this is going to be and it's a little bit too early to say whether. You know we're seeing -- permanent shift as -- Steve for journalists in -- goes or whether this is just to spite which in -- on some of us expected to for the elections. What we just don't know if it's permanent or temporary. While we do know is that the Taliban saying have been saying for a long time that they are going to do everything they can't disrupt the elections. What we don't know is whether that now includes -- typically targeting journalists. ABC's Mohammed -- and Afghanistan Mohammed again our thanks our continued wishes for -- safety and obviously for the other journalists that are covering. We certainly appreciate the time of the dedication to all share. On -- neighboring house is now the 32. Associated Press staffer to be killed in the pursuit of news her work in Afghanistan and Pakistan. -- her Pulitzer 2005 along with numerous other awards. -- every ABC's managing editor of international news John Williams who knows -- And is a board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists working in war zones around the world and John thank you for your time I know that you were very personal connection with -- having worked with -- -- reporter shot. -- what what can tell us about this duo. They are absolutely -- the powerhouse team covering Afghanistan and Pakistan Kathy. As Mohammed said had been covering Afghanistan for 25 years those. Very few people she doesn't and and when you say it was -- in Kabul or in Islamabad. She can pick up the converts into anybody's -- -- -- and the governments -- in the Taliban. I'm just being with there really is is an education in the lives of those two countries and and she was incredibly committed as lasagna is said to telling the story of both Afghanistan and Pakistan and it's such a tragedy that in telling that story faithful -- -- He it is telling the story -- -- that you're talking about the is on going to be a war photographer she was in war -- obviously. The images -- speak about something much more. Then the blood -- the combat what what made them. Bring the rest of the world. To these areas but the truth is that Afghanistan. And the news is one of the most remarkable -- -- countries you'll have a -- the tragedies is that for too much of its history is being blighted by war. And I'm just in some of the pictures that that I -- it's -- in this last week this there's one photograph. All of the an Afghan national policemen and and a soldier. Peering in through -- Aaron and Aaron the -- on the other side of the -- Friends it -- normal life. In Afghanistan. And they -- normal life in Afghanistan. They're just sixty miles from Kabul are up there of parts of Afghanistan there are parts of Afghanistan. That's you wouldn't noted that this there was a war going on. So even they all they were both incredibly committed -- to telling a story that that all too often we don't see about Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan. Neither happy nor on -- afraid of war -- afraid of getting -- the front lines and as you point out. To showing the life though at the same time cover Iraq cover Afghanistan covering Pakistan -- region in fact the can be. Extremely -- welcoming to professional females how much more so was that a challenge. For their jobs. Well of course it unit in some ways actually. Working as a woman gains in Afghanistan is. Can be easier be case you can simply decides two well. I had scoff and and friends. That he job will hold -- -- Cobb. Friends. Class four. Pass for an Afghan woman. Actually they didn't do that most of the time date they were respectful. That they didn't disguise who they were. I am -- -- -- the most remarkable things about this election waiting to see in the next 24 hours. Is the fact that 300 women are standing for election one of the candidates -- standing as vice president is a woman. Concern even what it -- the success stories of Afghanistan and and twelve long hard difficult bloody -- is -- Afghanistan. -- the transformation of the place of women. -- Many Afghans incredibly respectful of women and senators. That's just. Part of that the tragedy of this story that violence was me to -- of them. I spoke with Mohammed just a short time ago about this but journalist for such a long record time were generally considered off limits. In combat zones more and more though it seems over the years they in fact have been targeted can you account speak to that kind of change -- that did. The truth is that a thousand journalists of being killed since nine Morton's passengers to -- killed since 1992. Friends I'm. There is a battle for ID is that the battleground isn't only. In terms of of cause power it's also about soft articles about the message. Friends -- too often journalists to kill to stop a message getting out. Friends the authorities in various countries and we have to say that Pakistan wack -- -- believe one of the country's. Which is failed to to go after and prosecute those who target judgments. Friends that you that culture of impunity is one of the greatest challenges for. Roses as an industry and for society in -- in terms of making -- of that that we stand up and say it doesn't you would not saying that journalists or anything special. Nobody should be killed and anybody he's killed. That -- should be brought to justice. Friends. The roses as as news organizations. In shoring that we and shoring that we cracks it -- that culture of impunity is a very hearty very high priority. -- job before we let you go wanted to ask you and I mean it's of no disrespect to on hand to her family to Cathy for her recovery. And as well. But how does this then changed the elections how does change the security the safety the confidence. For those Afghans that are going to be going to the polls in this historic moment. That the truth is. If it weren't friends. -- Afghanistan. Is. A beautiful country it's a dangerous country brands. An enormous security operation will be in place. Tomorrow routes news Detroit -- -- shall be elections passed off peacefully. I'm the tragedy is that people are killed every day in Afghanistan. It just so happens that today one of them was a German photographer working for an American news organization. Other people would be killed and Afghanistan today as well. Soon bull bull testes is tragic -- and and for -- service. Invested finally. -- here in Afghanistan. We believe very deeply. But many more people die in Afghanistan every day and -- then it's just one more tragically just one more statistic. ABC's John Williams John thank you for your time and for your thoughtful insight we we really appreciate that. And of course before we leave you we want to take a look at some of the amazing work that was done by some of these. Very hard strong. Very courageous journalist and just a snapshot of time. Queens. And I. And.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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