Ridding Kabul of the Taliban hasn’t made the region any safer. Another four journalists have been killed in an ambush by armed Taliban militia roaming the countryside.
Four journalists are believed to be killed in an ambush by armed men on the road from Pakistan to the Afghan capital, Kabul, a route frequently used by journalists trying to reach the Afghan capital.
Two reporters working for the news agency Reuters are believed to be among those killed - Harry Burton, an Australian television cameraman, and Azizullah Haidari, an Afghan-born photographer. Both were reported missing after the ambush.
Spanish journalist Julio Fuentes of El Mundo and Italian journalist Maria Grazia Cutuli of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera are also missing.
The journalists were travelling in a convoy of six to eight vehicles through the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar. Gunmen stopped them near a bridge at Tangi Abrishum some 90 kilometers east of Kabul, according to journalists who escaped the ambush and managed to reach the city of Jalalabad.
The translator who was driving the car is also missing.
Drivers spared by the militia said the journalists were forced out of the vehicles at gunpoint and made to march up into the surrounding hills. A round of shots fired from a Kalashnikov rifle were heard.
A Kabul bus driver later reported finding the bodies of three foreigners and an Afghan by the road near Sarobi. One of them was a woman, he said.
The journalists were ambushed in a province taken over by anti-Taliban tribal leaders.But some Taliban fighters and Arab fighters are believed to be roaming in the area.
The new anti-Taliban authorities in Jalalabad have sent 200 men to search the area.
Last week three Western reporters, a German and two French journalists were killed in northeast Afghanistan in another ambush by the armed Taliban militia.
Other groups of French and Filipino reporters who travelled the same route to Kabul from Jalalabad said they had been stopped and robbed.