Investigation launches into AP photographer’s death

Associated Press | San Jose Mercury News

The Afghanistan government has begun questioning the police commander who shot and killed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounded correspondent Kathy Gannon on Friday, AP reported.

The wire service said on Thursday:

Local security officials who spoke with the suspect after he was first detained said he seemed a calm, pious man who may have come under the influence of Islamic extremists calling for vengeance against foreigners over drone strikes. Witness and official accounts so far have suggested the shooting was not planned.

Gannon remains in stable condition at a Frankfurt, Germany, medical facility, said Paul Colford, AP director of media relations. “We are heartened by her progress,” he said by email.

A funeral service for Niedringhaus is planned for Saturday at Corvey Abbey, a Benedictine monastery near where she was born in Hoxter, Germany.

On Wednesday, the San Jose Mercury News and other publications in the Bay Area News Group ran a frontpage tribute to Niedringhaus, an award-winning photographer whose work ranged from the violence of foreign wars to tranquil photos of a woman taking a dip in Lake Geneva.

In an editorial on Niedringhaus’ career, the Mercury News wrote:

Her calling was to capture the humanity of the moment: joyous, tragic or that vast space of life in between. How much better might we appreciate our own culture had she turned her lens on us? But her work for the Associated Press was in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan — the places where the most violent history of our age has unfolded. Her work in Iraq won a Pulitzer Prize.

Now one fewer set of eyes is watching.

Related: Anja Niedringhaus: Covering war ‘is the essence of journalism’ | AP photographer killed in Afghanistan | War zone photographers a breed apart

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