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NPR Journalist and Translator Killed in Taliban Attack

NPR journalist David Gilkey and his Afghan translator Zabihullah Tamanna were killed in a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan on Sunday afternoon. Gilkey was 50 and Tamanna was 38.

Gilkey was a photographer and videographer on assignment in Afghanistan as part of a four-person NPR team embedded with Afghan Special Forces in Helmand Province. The team’s other two American journalists, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, were unhurt.

Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with an Afghan army unit in an armored Humvee when their vehicle was hit by rocket-propelled grenades in an apparent ambush, killing the two and their driver, an Afghan National Army soldier, NPR reports.

Gilkey was the first American journalist who wasn’t in the military killed during the 15-year-long Afghan conflict, according to the New York Times.

Gilkey was an award-winning journalist who had covered conflicts in Gaza, South Africa, Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan. He received the George Polk Award in 2010 and a national News and Documentary Emmy in 2007.

Michael Oreskes, NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director, said Gilkey “brought out the humanity of all those around him” in a letter to his staff.

“David has been covering war and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. He was devoted to helping the public see these wars and the people caught up in them. He died pursuing that commitment,” Oreskes wrote. “As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other through his eyes.”

Here’s a look at his body of work.

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