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September 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Ahmed Omed Khpulwak

After initially maintaining that a BBC journalist covering a NATO operation in Afghanistan in July had been killed by insurgents, NATO acknowledged on Thursday that the reporter, Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, had been shot by a U.S. soldier who, it said, mistook him for a suicide bomber. According to the NATO report, the soldier saw the reporter holding “something clinched [sic] in one of his fists and reaching for something on his person with his other hand.” The BBC said that Khpulwak, who had begun filing a story, was likely holding up his press card. After he was shot, he reportedly managed to send two text messages to his brother: “I am hiding. Death has come” And then: “Pray for me if I die.” NATO said that the U.S. soldier had “complied with the laws of armed conflict and … acted reasonably.” In a statement, Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News, said: “Ahmed Omed’s death further highlights the great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world. It is essential that journalists are given the best possible protection whilst reporting in dangerous situations so that the world can hear their stories.”