AFP reporter killed in Kabul hotel attack

AFP journliast Sardar Ahmad was killed Thursday when four teenage gunmen opened fire at the Serena Hotel in Kabul. The gunmen also shot Ahmad's family, killing his wife and two of his children. A third child, an infant son, survived but was seriously wounded.
By JC Finley   |   March 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM   |   Comments

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March 21 (UPI) -- An Agence France-Presse staff reporter was killed, along with his wife and two of his three children, during an attack on a hotel in Kabul Thursday.

Ahmad, aged 40, was married to Humaira and had three children, two sons and one daughter. The surviving son was hospitalized with serious injuries.

AFP called slain journalist Sardar Ahmad "charming and versatile" in a Twitter post that provided a link to his obituary.

"During the 11 years he spent with AFP in Kabul, he always exercised immense courage and objectivity when reporting, despite the risks faced by journalists in that country," said AFP's Asia-Pacific Regional Director Gilles Campion.

AFP Chairman Emmanuel Hoog echoed that sentiment, describing Ahmad as a "dedicated and courageous journalist, a cornerstone of our team in Afghanistan who delivered, every day, exceptional coverage of news in extremely difficult conditions."

A total of nine civilians were killed in the attack and six injured when four teenage gunmen entered the Serena Hotel during a Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebration. The dead, Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said, included Afghans and foreigners, both children and adults.

Police said the teenage gunmen were under the age of 18 and were considered "government opponents."

The Serena Hotel was the site of a previous Taliban attack in January 2008 that claimed the lives of seven people.


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