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Photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus Killed in Afghanistan


Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed today, shot to death by an Afghan policeman while covering the upcoming national election. She covered conflicts from Bosnia to Afghanistan for more than 20 years, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, as part of a team of AP photographers covering the Iraq War. Last November I was very happy to be able to feature her amazing work in a photo essay titled "Afghanistan: Seen Through the Lens of Anja Niedringhaus." What I wrote then remains true: Documenting a decades-long story like the Afghanistan War is a challenge for any photojournalist, from simple logistical issues, to serious safety concerns, to the difficulty of keeping the narrative fresh and compelling. Niedringhaus did a remarkable job, telling people's stories with a strong, consistent voice, an amazing eye for light and composition, and a level of compassion that clearly shows through her images. A remarkable voice has been lost today. [30 photos]

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Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus stands next to photographs from Iraq, left, and Afghanistan, right, during a press preview of her exhibition "Anja Niedringhaus At War" at the Gallery C/O in Berlin on September 9, 2011. (Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus stands next to photographs from Iraq, left, and Afghanistan, right, during a press preview of her exhibition "Anja Niedringhaus At War" at the Gallery C/O in Berlin on September 9, 2011. (Photo/Markus Schreiber)
An Afghan girl tries to peer through the holes of her burqa as she plays with other children in the old town of Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
A German soldier sits next to candles lit to celebrate his 34th birthday, during a long term patrol in Yaftal e Sofla, in the mountainous region of Feyzabad, east of Kunduz, Afghanistan, on September 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
German ISAF soldiers secure an airfield next to a destroyed passenger plane left by the Russians in Kunduz on September 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
A member of Afghanistan's elite Civil Order Police looks through a window of his armored vehicle during a patrol in Marjah, southern Helmand province, on October 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan schoolchildren follow ISAF soldiers with the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) patrolling the mountain villages on the outskirts of Feyzabad on September 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Photographed through a burqa, Afghan women shop at a market in Kabul on April 11, 2013. Conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked a law on May 18, 2013 that aimed to protect women's freedoms, with some arguing that parts of it violate Islamic principles or encourage women to have sex outside of marriage. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Lance Cpl. Blas Trevino, of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, shouts out as he is rescued onto a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment after he was shot in the stomach outside Sangin, Helmand Province, on June 11, 2011. The Army's 'Dust Off' crew needed two attempts to get him out, as they were fired upon and took five rounds in the tail of their aircraft. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan woman holds her newly born baby wrapped in her burqa as she waits to get in line to try on a new burqa in a shop in the old town of Kabul on April 11, 2013. Despite advances in women's rights, Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative country and most women continue to wear the Burqa. But tradesmen say times are changing in Kabul at least, with demand for burqas declining as young women going to school and taking office jobs refuse to wear the cumbersome garments. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan police officer rushes to the scene where a rocket hit outside the luxury Serena Hotel in Kabul on November 21, 2009. At least two people were injured, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
A dog watches a Canadian soldier with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, patrolling Salavat, Panjwayi district, southwest of Kandahar, on May 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan girl crosses a cemetary in the outskirts of Kabul on November 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan boy makes a face as Canadian soldiers with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment and Afghan Army soldiers patrol the village of Salavat in the Panjwayi district, on June 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan girl writes on a board in front her class at the girls high school Ayeshe Sedeqa in the center of Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, on September 21, 2008. The Afghan government alleges the Taliban tried to poison students at girls' schools, causing outbreaks of sickness, and says 15 suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan army soldiers dance to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at their combat outpost outside Salavat, Panjwaii district, on September 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan boy holds a toy gun as he enjoys a ride with others on a merry-go-round to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival in Kabul on September 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
A Canadian soldier with the 1st RCR Battle Group, The Royal Canadian Regiment, chases a chicken seconds before he and his unit were attacked by grenades shot over the wall during a patrol in Salavat, southwest of Kandahar, on September 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Seven year old Afghan girl Persia looks up as she flies onboard a Medevac helicopter from the US Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment to the next military hospital outside Sangin, Helmand Province, on June 7, 2011. Persia received head injuries after falling off a truck and was taken by her father to the next ISAF outpost seeking medical help. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
American soldiers salute while the national anthem is played during a ceremony marking Veterans Day at the U.S. Camp Eggers in Kabul on November 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan refugee girl reacts after another child stole her food voucher while she was queuing in front a truck organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, on March 4, 2012. Every day, 400 people join the ranks of a half million displaced by fighting and natural disaster in Afghanistan. Many are left to starve and die, even in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan day laborer Zekrullah, 23, takes a break after preparing kilns to fire the bricks at a brick kiln factory on the outskirts of Kabul, on November 7, 2013. In the last two years as US and NATO troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, brick makers say business has dropped off by almost half. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan girl reacts as she arrives with her mother for treatment in the local hospital of Feyzabad, on September 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
School children pass by a painted sign reading, "ballot not bullet" on their way back home on the outskirts of Kandahar, on March 12, 2014. Warlords with a violent past have played a role in influencing Afghan politics since a U.S.-led coalition helped oust the Taliban in 2001. But they are emerging to play an overt political role in next month's presidential elections as President Hamid Karzai leaves the scene. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan policemen run to jump on their car as Taliban militants attacked the main Afghan election commission's headquarters on the outskirts of Kabul, firing on the compound with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns from a house outside its perimeter wall on March 29, 2014. Dozens of employees and other people who had been inside the Independent Election Commission compound took cover in the basement, and no casualties were reported. But two warehouses were hit and set on fire, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Injured United States Marine Cpl. Burness Britt reacts after being lifted onto a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment, on June 4, 2011. Britt was wounded in an IED strike near Sangin, Helmand Province. At the Hunter Holmes Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, Britt is facing a long recovery after a large piece of shrapnel cut a major artery on his neck. During his first operation in Afghanistan he suffered a stroke and became partially paralyzed. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan woman peers through a window where women line up to have their picture taken to register for the upcoming presidential elections in a school in Kabul on March 18, 2014. Last-minute registration of voters continues despite the fact that more than 21 million voter registration cards have been issued while only roughly 12 million Afghans are eligible to vote. The discrepancy is the result of repeated registrations since the first round of elections in Afghanistan in 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan man directs his children away from the scene where a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul on May 16, 2013. A Muslim militant group, Hizb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility for the early morning attack, killing many in the explosion and wounding tens, police and hospital officials said. The powerful explosion rattled buildings on the other side of Kabul and sent a pillar of white smoke into the sky in the city's east. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Afghan lawmaker Hamida Ahmadzai, who represents Afghanistan's colorful Kuchi, poses for a picture inside the Afghan parliament in Kabul, on March 26, 2014. "In our Parliament we have 69 women, that is a large number, bigger even than European parliaments," Hamida said. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
An Afghan nomad kisses his young daughter while watching his herd in Marjah, Helmand province, on October 20, 2012. In southern Helmand province, one of Afghanistan's deadliest battlefields, angry residents say 11 years of war has brought them widespread insecurity. They say they are too afraid to go out after dark because of marauding bands of thieves and during the day corrupt police and government officials bully them into paying bribes. Development that was promised hasn't materialized and the Taliban's rule is often said to be preferred. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
One of the last images captured by photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus. An Afghan girl helps her brother down from a security barrier set up outside the Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in the eastern Afghan city of Khost, on April 3, 2014. Afghans head to the polls to elect a new President on April 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #

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