Taliban Deny Responsibility for Shooting in Afghanistan - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Taliban Deny Responsibility for Shooting in Afghanistan

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Kathy Gannon on CNN in 2005 Kathy Gannon on CNN in 2005
Courtesy: ap.org Courtesy: ap.org

An Associated Press reporter in Afghanistan is being treated for injuries suffered in a shooting attack today that left a colleague dead.
 
A witness to the shooting says AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed instantly when an Afghan policeman opened fire on a car where the two journalists were sitting. Reporter Kathy Gannon was shot three times, in the wrists and shoulder, and later underwent surgery. She's described as being in stable condition and talking to medical personnel.
 
The two were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots on the eve of Afghanistan's national elections. According to a freelancer for AP Television News who witnessed the shooting, a unit commander walked up to the car, yelled "God is Great," and opened fire on them in the back seat with an AK-47. He then surrendered to other police and was arrested.
 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expressing deep sadness over the attack.
 
A Taliban spokesman denied responsibility.
 
In a memo to staff, AP President Gary Pruitt remembered Niedringhaus as "spirited, intrepid and fearless." She was an internationally-acclaimed German photographer who had covered conflict zones including Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Gaza and the West Bank during a 20-year stretch.
 
Gannon is a Canadian journalist based in Islamabad. She has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for the AP since the mid-1980s. 

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Although the Taliban have denied responsibility for today's shooting attack in Afghanistan that killed an Associated Press photographer and wounded a correspondent, the militants have vowed to disrupt tomorrow's nationwide elections with violence.
 
Some recent high-profile attacks in the heart of Kabul appear designed to show that they are capable of doing that.
 
If voters turn out in large numbers tomorrow, and the Afghans are able to hold a successful election, it could undermine the Taliban's appeal by showing that democracy can indeed work.
 
President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally barred from a third term. Afghans will choose a new president in what promises to be the nation's first democratic transfer of power. Three men are considered top contenders to succeed Karzai -- and there don't appear to be any major policy differences toward the West among them.
 
As international combat forces prepare to withdraw by the end of the year, Afghanistan remains so unstable that the fact that elections are being held is touted as one of the few successes in Karzai's tenure.  (AP)

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