BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

BBC stringer killed in Afghanistan

Post categories:

Peter Horrocks Peter Horrocks | 14:51 UK time, Thursday, 28 July 2011

This morning we received the extremely sad news that the BBC's stringer in Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, had been killed. He died in the city of Tarin Kowt during a prolonged assault involving suicide attackers. The sympathies of the BBC and all of his colleagues go to Ahmed Omed's family and friends.

Ahmed Omed Khpulwak

 

Only this morning he was reporting on BBC Pashto about another Taliban attack that happened last night. For the past three years he has been constantly reporting from a very difficult part of Afghanistan. The BBC and the whole world are grateful to journalists like Ahmed Omed who courageously put their lives on the line to report from dangerous places.

The BBC World Service has a deep and extensive commitment to the country of Afghanistan. To the world at large that is represented by the News correspondents who broadcast in English to the UK and the globe. To the people of Afghanistan that commitment is represented by the reporting and voices of the BBC teams in Afghanistan broadcasting in the languages of Pashto and Dari.

At the last count the BBC was listened to by 40% of the population and is by far the most trusted international news provider in the country. That trust has been earned over many years by the commitment to fair reporting and the bravery of dozens of reporters and stringers across the country. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak was one of those brave reporters who have created that bond of trust with the people of Afghanistan.

The BBC is trying to establish further facts about his death and will do all we can to support his family.

Peter Horrocks is director of BBC Global News

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It is very sad when a journalist dies when carrying out his duties. My condolences to his family. It is a tragic loss. Maybe this tragedy will spur the BBC to take a more objective approach to reporting in Afghanistan. The Taliban represent a very evil force, as indicated by their recent but under reported hanging of an eight year old child. BBC reporters in the field may be doing an honourable task but the selective coverage is becoming quite scandalous, as indicated by several web sites which are critical. As a licence payer I find it irritating to say the least when I have to plough through numerous news providers on the internet to establish something approaching the objectivity that was once delivered by the BBC.

  • Comment number 2.

    Mr Horrocks:

    My condolences and prays are sent to the family of this BBC Stringer; And, for the Corporation please do all possible to help the family in their mourning....

    Dennis

  • Comment number 3.

    Add your comment.

    A fine man, and whose reporting of the truth, one dare hope, was not later dishonoured by any later simulacrum of it.

  • Comment number 4.

    I am sorry to learn about your loss. Death is always difficult, but the death of a journalist is especially a loss for everyone, because that person has died bringing information to us. We would be in the dark about the things we need to know if it were not for brave people like him. His death is a loss to all of us.

  • Comment number 5.

    Insurgents, gun & bomb attacks in the south Afghan town of Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province, 22 dead, including Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, a local BBC "stringer". (In journalism, a stringer is a type of freelance journalist or photographer who contributes reports or photos to a news organization on an ongoing basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work.)
    Nato says it is providing air support to Afghan forces in Tarin Kowt.
    Health officials said 22 people had been killed including 3 women & 40 injured, most of them civilians. Sadly, I must admit that I'd never heard about Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, a reporter for the BBC Pashto radio service as well as the Pajhwok news agency...except in his death. Therefore, please allow me to lend my blend my voice with BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks: "The BBC and the whole world are grateful to journalists like Ahmed Omed who courageously put their lives on the line to report from dangerous places."

  • Comment number 6.

    This is indeed very sad news. With aspects of journalism in the UK causing dismay and anger amongst the general public this is a timely reminder of the heroic work that many journalists do around the world to inform and educate us. We should all be grateful to people like Ahmed Omed Khpulwak who risk their lives to provide this valuable service.

  • Comment number 7.

    I really terriyfied,just because this war is taking long to finish.


    I have a question to answer about this.







    What year will it end?



    --
    Sean

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sean De Erio @ 7 asks when will it {the Afghan War} end?

    It will officially end when the 'foreign forces' are withdrawn in a couple of years or so.

    For example, the Iraq War effectively ended when the coalition forces withdrew, leaving the locals to slug it out via their religion based conflict.

    In Afghanistan, the rough theory is that by the time the majority of the foreign forces have been withdrawn, the Afghan National Army will be strong enough to hold the country together.

    That is the theory.

    Nation building - a tricky and expensive business.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    All my sympathy for his family and friends. We've had more than our fair share of journalists killed in Romania as well, at the time of the revolution and afterwards. Speaking of which: I heard the news about Tahrir Square in Cairo being cleared out today. Talk about deja vu! It's the exact same thing that happened in Piata Universitatii in Bucharest, June 13-15, 1900. There too, ordinary citizens and miners came and "assisted" government forces in chasing away and beating up protesters, people were arrested or "disappeared" or were lynched in the streets etc. I do hope their revolution doesn't get stolen from right under them, as ours has been. May they learn from our mistakes and our history, and avoid the pitfalls we could not.

  • Comment number 13.

    My sympathy to his family and friends. He was a great warrior to stand up to evil and go forth to tell the truth in his writings.

    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
    ~Thucydides~

  • Comment number 14.

    The guys/gals with the balls to do this job should be acknowledged the world's greatest heros/heroines.
    Peace.

  • Comment number 15.

    As an American I respect every person who lays their life on the line to do any job in Afghanistan, however, much like I can't understand why the American media does not say the truth about obamas'intent to destroy America, I can't understand why the US and England do not declare "that rock quarry" as useless and pull out! We should go ahead and implement the same policy that we will be forced to accept later, that policy is to openly threaten the rogue nations of the middle east with nuclear retaliation if they use nukes on their neighbors! That plainly means Pakistan and Iran, I believe the American people will gladly accept a nuclear disablement of the enemy as opposed to continually sacrificing young Americans!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    It would be more of a tribute to those correspondents who have risked and lost their lives, if the BBC re-opened the closed frequencies.

  • Comment number 18.

    '17. At 22:23 8th Aug 2011, quietoaktree wrote:
    It would be more of a tribute to those correspondents who have risked and lost their lives, if the BBC re-opened the closed frequencies.


    'Broadcast only' has an appeal in many quarters. As various 'blogs' reopen with returnees clocking back on to opine, one suspects that House Rules will be deployed with abandon before many early re-closings.

    Recent events suggest those keen on outbound messages (or those 'views' of the public 'spoken for' passed through an editorial filter first) only are not great students of history.

    Pity those doomed by others in politics and media, above the fray, repeating the errors of the past. Again.

  • Comment number 19.

    #18 JunkkMale

    Being one of those ´ancients´ who has listened to the BBC for over 50 years, I am angry at the closing of the previously available BBC short wave radio frequencies. For all the possibilities of their ´propaganda misuse´, we should not forget that still for many of the world´s billions --radio is still their only source of some ´reliable´ information.

    The limits of blogging and tweeting (their misuse) are clear. If information of world events is restricted to them -- then God save us from the liars and non-thinking Nationalists--- whose main behavior are confusion propagation.

    The more international correspondents we have informing us through radio frequencies the better.

  • Comment number 20.

    RIOTS WHAT A DISGRACE - WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING TO OUR BEAUTIFUL GENEROUS NATION. WE GIVE, YOU TAKE. DECENT PEOPLE WORK FOR WHAT THEY HAVE AND YOU ARE TOO JEALOUS AND LAZY TO DO THE SAME. WE LIVE HERE BECAUSE WE LOVE OUR HOME. SHALL WE ALL RANSACK, STEEL, BURN AND DESTROY THEIR HOMES AND SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT. SOON YOU WILL ALL BE COMPLAINING OF LACK OF FOOD AND AMENITIES, WILL YOU ALL RIOT THEN WHEN YOU ALL CAUSED IT? YOUR LACK OF EDUCATION, RESPECT AND COMMON SENSE CLEARLY MEANS YOU DONT REALISE THAT YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS AND PHONES THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH WILL GIVE THE POLICE ALL THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO ARREST YOU ALL... BRING IN THE BRITISH ARMY

  • Comment number 21.

    #20 vee

    --- I believe the rioters will consider you a part of their problem.

    Because there were no jobs for them, youth clubs were opened. Because of spending cuts the youth clubs were closed.

    If you are unaware of a dysfunctional British democratic system --the question could arise as to who is uneducated ?

    Libya, Syria, etc. are using their armies already -- Britain also should ?

  • Comment number 22.

    Will there be a special "Question Time" on Thursday in view of the rioters?

  • Comment number 23.

    19. At 12:58 9th Aug 2011, quietoaktree :

    Apologies. Being of a similar vintage, I appreciated your analogue reference but in equally hijacking a rare open thread - hopefully acceptable if in honour of those in the 4th estate who fall pursuing the truth - shared a concern on what happens in their memory if the means to share information (both ways in digital) are constrained by those more removed from the sharp end.

  • Comment number 24.

    #22 claypigeon54

    The warnings of possible trouble on British streets were ignored by both Her Majesty and her government.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11978954

    Their insensitivity to the plight of the underprivileged in ´their´ society should not be underestimated --- or further ignored.

    --- Some call the ´structure´ tradition.

  • Comment number 25.

    #24 continuation

    The monarch has the power to:

    Choose the Prime Minister.
    Dismiss ministers and governments.
    Dissolve Parliament.
    Refuse to agree to legislation passed by Parliament.
    Dismiss the governments of other countries of which she is monarch.
    Pardon convicted criminals.
    Declare a state of emergency.
    Issue proclamations.
    Command the army and raise a personal militia.

    source: http://www.centreforcitizenship.org/monarchy/mon2.html

  • Comment number 26.

    '22. At 17:19 9th Aug 2011, claypigeon54 wrote:
    Will there be a special "Question Time" on Thursday in view of the rioters?


    It seems there will.

    All things considered, an interesting (in the Chinese sense) response.

    The composition of the panel, and audience will be revealing.

    As to what gets achieved, beyond more heat over light, is another matter.

    But ratings are assured. Elliot Carver takes many forms.


  • Comment number 27.

    The attempt to simplify the reasons for the present riots is depressing.

    Many white working class youth have for years lost hope of leading worthwhile lives and non-white and Moslem youth have the extra stigma of racial discrimination and Islamophobia to accept.

    With Cameron and others saying ´poverty is no excuse´ for the rioting -- they would also claim that a concoction of poverty, racial discrimination and Islamophobia --is no reason for dissatisfaction ?

    The rioting should be stopped (as has all previous riots) --but the lessons from the present and previous rioting will never be learned or accepted by the ´powers that be´ or the British society in general.

    In the early 70´s the `black problem´ was the topic of the media and the society. I had a black Jamaican friend at the time -- who explained ´his problem´. He asked me if I could understand what it is like to be a descendant of slaves and to be looked at sideways when walking down a British street or going into a ´white´ restaurant who would rather not serve you ?

    I admitted I didn´t know the feeling -- but it was clear he was helpless -- there was nothing he could do to be a fully accepted member of the British society.

    --40 years later I can still remember his ´cry´ of hopeless frustration.







 

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.