Zabihullah Tamanna
National Public Radio
June 5, 2016, in Marjah district, Helmand province, Afghanistan

Zabihullah Tamanna, 38, died when at least one rocket propelled grenade hit the Afghan Army vehicle in which he was travelling. His American colleague, David Gilkey, and the Afghan army driver of the vehicle were also killed. The journalists were on assignment for NPR at the time, the U. S. broadcaster said in its account of the deaths. They died on their first day of being embedded with the Afghan army.

They were covering intense fighting between the Afghan military and Taliban fighters in and around Marjah, a Taliban stronghold that had once been taken by American forces. The NPR journalists were being escorted to cover the situation in Marjah when their convoy came under heavy fire. Two other NPR journalists traveling in a separate vehicle in the convoy were not injured.

Though Tamanna was working as a field producer and interpreter at the time of his death, his career as a journalist started in 2002, according to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee. His first job was as a photojournalist for Xinhua News Agency; he was later promoted to run the Chinese government news agency's Kabul bureau until 2010. Typical of local journalists in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Tamanna had many clients other than NPR: Anadolu News Agency; CNN-IBN; Swiss TV; Brazil TV; China Central Television; Stars and Stripes, as well as several Dari-language local media organizations. Tamanna had degrees in law and political science from Kabul University, AJSC reported.

Medium:Print, Radio, Internet
Beats Covered:Culture, Human Rights, Politics, War
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire:Political Group

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