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AP Photographer Killed In Afghanistan Was Full Of Laughter

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The votes are being counted in Afghanistan after the country's presidential election yesterday. Afghans waited for hours in line to cast their ballots in what will be the country's first peaceful democratic transfer of power. But the election comes after weeks of violence that have taken the lives of Afghan civilians and most recently an award-winning photographer for the Associated Press, Anja Niedringhaus.

JAMIE TARABAY: The thing about Anja that everyone - it was unanimous - they all talked about her laughter. She has this really big laugh, you know. It just comes out of her gut. That's how everybody remembers her.

MARTIN: That's former NPR correspondent Jamie Tarabay, who worked with Niedringhaus in Baghdad covering the Iraq war. Niedringhaus was shot, along with her colleague - veteran AP reporter Kathy Gannon - on Friday. The two journalists were in Khost province, covering the run-up to the election. They were traveling under the protection of Afghan security forces but it was an Afghan police commander who opened fire on their car, wounding Gannon and killing Niedringhaus instantly. Ines Pohl is a German journalist and friend of Niedringhaus.

INES POHL: She wasn't as cynical as many war reporters get over the years. She really respected the people. You could see that she was really interested to show the beauty of Afghanistan, and show the human face of the war zone.

MARTIN: Niedringhaus' AP colleague David Guttenfelder said, quote, "what the world knows about Iraq, they largely know because of her pictures and the pictures by the photographers she raised. I know they always asked themselves what would Anja do when they go out with their cameras. I think we all do." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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