November 11, 2001, in Takhar Province, Afghanistan
Sutton, a reporter for Radio France Internationale; Billaud, a reporter for Radio Télévision Luxembourg; and Handloik, a freelance reporter on assignment for the German news magazine Stern, were killed on the evening of November 11 when Taliban forces fired on a Northern Alliance military convoy.
The reporters were among a group of six journalists who were riding with Northern Alliance soldiers in an armored personnel carrier (APC).
The soldiers were advancing toward Taliban positions near the city of Taloqan, the capital of Takhar Province and the alliance's former headquarters.
Taliban forces opened fire on the convoy and hit the APC carrying the journalists with a rocket-propelled grenade. The jolt from the grenade's impact caused some people to fall off the tank while others may have jumped off. It was unclear whether the journalists who died were killed in the cross fire, or whether Taliban soldiers later executed at least two of them.
Three journalists survived the attack: Paul McGeough, a reporter for the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald; Véronique Rebeyrotte, a reporter for France Culture radio; and Levon Sevunts, a reporter for the Montreal Gazette.
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