Hate Crimes

BBC journalist victim of 'friendly fire'

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BBC writer Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, 25, perished along with at least 18 other individuals during a July battle in Afghanistan. NATO confessed Thurs that the reporter was actually murdered by a US soldier who mistook him for a terrorist. Article resource: NATO admits BBC journalist was accidentally killed by US soldier

Saying an exploration needs to occur

The Taliban murdered Khpulwak, as reported by the first reports. NATO was asked to do an exploration as there were “conflicting reports” that BBC got.

'A case of mistaken identity'

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Jimmie Cummings is a Lieutenant spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). He announced on Thurs the findings:

"After a thorough investigation, it was determined the reporter was killed in a case of mistaken identity. Mr. Khpulwak was shot by an ISAF member who believed he was an insurgent that posed a threat and was about to detonate a suicide vest improvised explosive device."

There will not be any disciplinary action taken as the soldier acted “reasonably under the circumstances,” Cummings added.

Eleven rounds from an assault rifle

Khpulwak was fatally shot with 11 rounds from an M-4 assault rifle on July 28 in a battle that occurred after two suicide bombers attacked the Radio Television Afghanistan offices in the Taliban-heavy Uruzgan province. One U.S. soldier saw Khpulwak near a broken wall while they were clearing a building. The reporter was reaching for something while having “something clinched in among his fists,” supposedly. A bomb may have been set off. That was what the soldier thought.

Making amends with the family

Thurs, Khpulwak’s family met with the NATO officials to get an apology. Ever since 2008, Khpulwak worked freelance for the BBC. That was not his only place of employment. He also worked for the news agency Pajwak Afghan. Jawid was the journalist’s sibling. He said he was confused by the whole idea of Khpulwak being mistaken for an enemy. "He spoke English and would have been showing his press card." There were two texts Jawid got during the attack. They were both from his sibling. They read: "I am hiding. Death has come," and "Pray for me if I die." Peter Horrocks is the BBC global news director. He said: "The loss of Ahmed Omed is a tragedy for his family and friends as well as his colleagues at the BBC. 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."

Information from

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14840998 ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-09/us-soldier-killed-bbc-reporter-in-... Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/08/bbc-journalist-killed-afghanist...