KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - Anadolu Agency freelance reporter Zabihullah Tamanna was killed alongside an American journalist in a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, according to an Afghan military spokesman.
Tamanna and NPR photographer David Gilkey were travelling with an Afghan military convoy that came under attack near Marjah in Helmand province, said military spokesman Shakil Ahmad Tasal.
Their vehicle was struck by a rocket during the Taliban ambush, Ahmad said, adding that the attack also killed two Afghan soldiers.
Tamanna was assisting Gilkey as an interpreter on an assignment for NPR, who confirmed the deaths and said that two other staff members travelling with them at the time were unharmed.
Their deaths shocked the American and Afghan journalist communities and Afghan colleagues used Facebook to mourn Tamanna's death.
Haroon Sabawoon, a video-journalist who also contributes to Anadolu Agency, lamented that Tamanna was supposed to join him to break their fasts together after the first day of Ramadan on Monday.
Tamanna also worked for the Chinese Xinhua news agency and had been a regular contributor to Anadolu Agency's English service since 2014, covering Afghan presidential elections, Taliban leadership struggles, day-to-day news and features that shared the everyday lives of Afghans with the wider world.
Gilkey was an award-winning American photojournalist renowned for his coverage of wars and human disasters.
Journalists in Afghanistan often face danger when reporting and are sometimes deliberately targeted. In January, seven employees of an Afghan TV station were killed by a Taliban suicide attack on their minibus in Kabul.