Daily brief: ‘Restrepo’ director and a photographer killed in Libya
We are deeply saddened by the deaths of photojournalists Tim Hetherington, the co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan war documentary "Restrepo," and Chris Hondros, of Getty Images, in Libya yesterday. Their longtime coverage of conflict zones across the world, from Afghanistan to Africa, is a testament to their bravery, and our sympathies are with their families, ...
We are deeply saddened by the deaths of photojournalists Tim Hetherington, the co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan war documentary "Restrepo," and Chris Hondros, of Getty Images, in Libya yesterday. Their longtime coverage of conflict zones across the world, from Afghanistan to Africa, is a testament to their bravery, and our sympathies are with their families, many friends, and colleagues. -- The editors of the AfPak Channel
We are deeply saddened by the deaths of photojournalists Tim Hetherington, the co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan war documentary "Restrepo," and Chris Hondros, of Getty Images, in Libya yesterday. Their longtime coverage of conflict zones across the world, from Afghanistan to Africa, is a testament to their bravery, and our sympathies are with their families, many friends, and colleagues. — The editors of the AfPak Channel
At a loss
Oscar-nominated director and photojournalist Tim Hetherington and acclaimed photographer Chris Hondros were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade yesterday in the city of Misrata, Libya, during a pitched battled between rebel fighters and the forces of Col. Muammar Qaddafi (NYT, Post, Vanity Fair, Times, LAT, ABC). They were the third and fourth journalists to be killed in Libya since the recent conflict there began, and the first Westerners.
Hetherington, 41, whose extensive work as a director and photographer in war zones took him to places such as the West Bank and Africa, is known for co-directing the film "Restrepo," a gritty documentary about American soldiers at a 15-man firebase in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, with author Sebastian Junger (WSJ, CNN, Guardian, Telegraph). He also was well-regarded in the human rights community, and reported extensively from Liberia and Darfur, helping make films about both conflicts. Watch Hetherington discuss "Restrepo" last summer (NAF). Remembering Tim Hetherington (FP). A life less ordinary: The photographs of Chris Hondros (FP)
Splitting the baby
The Afghan government announced yesterday that the troubled Kabul Bank will be divided into two parts, one part dedicated to holding the good assets of the bank and the other designed to recoup the more than $900 million owed to the bank from bad loans the bank issued (LAT, NYT, Post). After three months the bank will be sold off and re-named the "New Kabul Bank," as part of the reform processes that will allow Afghanistan to once again secure loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The New York Times reports on Taliban efforts to inspire fear about the group’s reported infiltration of Afghan security services, while the Journal looks at the growth of ethnic militias in Afghanistan’s increasingly violent north (NYT, WSJ). And Ernesto Londono has today’s must-read on Afghanistan’s broken justice system and the international community’s new acceptance, to some extent, of ‘traditional justice systems’ in Afghanistan (Post).
Twelve Iranian engineers and three Afghans who were kidnapped by the Taliban in the western province of Farah Monday were freed yesterday, following the intercession of "local elders" (AP, AFP, CNN, BBC). Three Afghan policemen were killed this morning and at least six others wounded after a bomb hidden in their bus in Nangarhar province exploded (Pajhwok, CNN, AP). A 35-member group of Taliban have reportedly surrendered their weapons and renounced violence in the northern province of Jawzjan (Pajhwok). And an Islamist website announced yesterday that the brother-in-law of al Qaeda no. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed earlier this year in fighting in Afghanistan (ABC).
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Muller in an interview with Pakistan’s Geo TV and two newspapers yesterday accused Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency of having "longstanding" ties to the Afghan insurgent network of Jalaluddin Haqqani, and said this relationship was "at the core" of the current problems between the United States and Pakistan (McClatchy, WSJ, Post, Daily Times, ET, AFP, BBC). Mullen — who is on a two-day trip to Pakistan to shore up relations between the troubled partners — made the remarks just before meetings with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and other Pakistani officials (The News).
Mullen’s remarks came as an unidentified U.S. official said that the controversial CIA drone program in Pakistan’s tribal regions would continue, despite reported Pakistani requests that drone strikes be cut and drone technology given to Pakistan (Bloomberg, ET, AJE). Pakistan’s army rejected Mullen’s comments and other U.S. statements as "negative propaganda," as Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir arrived in Washington to begin talks with American government officials, at the invitation of Obama administration envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Amb. Marc Grossman (AP, APP).
The Pakistani Supreme Court today upheld the 2005 acquittals of five men in the 2002 gang-rape of Mukhtaran Mai, who was allegedly ordered to be raped by leaders in her Punjab village after her brother was accused of having a relationship with a member of a different tribe (NYT, Dawn, ET). The life sentence of a sixth man in the case was upheld.
At least five people were killed in ongoing violence in the city of Karachi, including a police officer (Geo). And purported Taliban militants killed a truck driver and his assistant in Mohmand agency for reportedly selling livestock in Afghanistan in violation of a Taliban ban on cross-border trade (ET).
Pakistan’s Ports and Shipping Ministry has been cautioned to "spend carefully" on "beautification projects" for Karachi, after a monitoring committee was told that the Karachi Port Trust spent Rs 220 million on the fountain at Clifton Beach, the highest water jet in the world (Daily Times). The jet shoots water 500 feet in the air, and can reach 620 feet.
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