Wounded AP correspondent Kathy Gannon chronicles conflict, life in Afghanistan, Pakistan

Published: April 4, 2014

In this Oct. 26, 2001 file photo, Associated Press Islamabad bureau chief Kathy Gannon reports from the basement of the AP house in Kabul, Afghanistan, during a night of heavy bombing. AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis

REBECCA SANTANA
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Associated Press correspondent Kathy Gannon, wounded Friday in a shooting that killed an AP photographer, has reported on Afghanistan for nearly three decades, chronicling the country from the Soviet occupation to the fall of the Taliban to the current presidential election and the coming withdrawal of foreign troops.

Gannon, a Canadian who joined the AP in the mid-1980s, is known to colleagues, diplomats and government officials for her encyclopedic knowledge of the region and for her fearless pursuit of stories, whether they be found in a cave on the Afghan-Pakistan border or in the carpeted halls of power in Kabul or Islamabad.

“She knows Afghanistan very well. She knows the culture of the people,” said Amir Shah, an AP reporter in Kabul who first met Gannon in 1992 and has worked with her ever since. “She is very brave, and she was working very hard.”

On Friday, an Afghan police officer opened fire on Gannon and AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus as they sat in a car at a police station in the eastern city of Khost. Niedringhaus, an internationally acclaimed photographer, was killed instantly. Gannon suffered three gunshot wounds in the attack and received medical attention. Authorities said she was in stable condition and spoke with medical personnel.

“Kathy Gannon is a brave and passionate journalist whose expertise and deep knowledge and experience of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have made her an indispensable authority on the region,” said John Daniszewski, AP’s vice-president and senior managing editor for international news. “She and Anja Niedringhaus often worked together as a team.”

For years, Gannon and Niedringhaus could be found together covering stories. They embedded with the Afghan military to report on how it was doing without foreign support, and went to Pakistan’s Swat Valley to describe the aftermath of the assassination attempt against teenager Malala Yousafzai for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education.

Gannon arrived in 1986 in Peshawar, the Pakistani city that became a hub for foreign fighters and money flowing into Afghanistan during their war against the Soviets.

“I sold everything I owned, which wasn’t much, and set out to become the foreign correspondent I’d always wanted to be,” she wrote in her 2005 book, “I is for Infidel, From Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years Inside Afghanistan.”

A photo dated 10 October 2011 shows Associated Press (AP) reporter Kathy Gannon in Islamabad, Pakistan. EPA/T. MUGHAL

She was well aware of the dangers. She describes in her book how she and the fighters once walked through an Afghan minefield in 1986.

“Suddenly there was a loud explosion — it seemed as if it must be right next to me,” she wrote. “I felt a nauseous surge of fear: The (fighter) beside me had stepped on a mine. It killed him instantly.”

Gannon, 60, has served as an AP bureau chief and more recently as senior writer for Afghanistan and Pakistan. One of her predecessors as AP’s Islamabad chief of bureau, Sharon Herbaugh, died in a 1993 helicopter crash in the central mountains of Afghanistan. The 39-year-old Herbaugh was the first AP newswoman and bureau chief to die on assignment

Two weeks into the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban allowed Gannon and a colleague into the country — the only journalists despite hundreds wanting visas. They covered the bombing campaign from Kabul by candlelight, with Gannon at one point thrown across the room as a bomb landed near the AP bureau. She wore a long shirt, baggy trousers and a headscarf while working in the street.

When the Taliban finally fled the capital, Gannon filed a dispatch that began: “Residents of the Afghan capital peered through the open doors of abandoned Taliban military bases … and whispered to each other: ‘Are they gone?”‘

Related stories:

13:28ET 04-04-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »