x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wounded journalists treated in Dubai

Two journalists wounded in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan are evacuated to a medical centre in Dubai.

Two journalists wounded in a bomb blast while on assignment with the US military in southern Afghanistan were evacuated to a medical centre in Dubai after being treated at a military hospital. Two US soldiers were also wounded in the bombing of a light armoured vehicle called a Stryker near the Pakistani border, the US Army said. Photographer Emilio Morenatti and videographer Andi Jatmiko, who both work for the Associated Press, were travelling with a unit of the 5th Stryker Brigade on Tuesday when their vehicle ran over a bomb planted in the open desert terrain, the military said.

All four wounded were taken by helicopter to a military hospital in Kandahar. The journalists arrived at about midnight on Wednesday in Dubai, where they were to receive further treatment. Mr Jatmiko suffered leg injuries and two broken ribs. Mr Morenatti, who was badly wounded in the leg, underwent an operation in Kandahar that resulted in the loss of his left foot. The two soldiers, who were not identified, also suffered leg wounds ? one of them severe. One of the wounded soldiers crawled out of the vehicle and applied a tourniquet to the other injured soldier, according to Capt Denis Lortie, commander of Bear Troop, 8th Squadron of the 5th Stryker.

The attack took place as four Stryker vehicles were on patrol 24km north of the town of Spin Boldak and 193km south-east of Dahaneh, a Taliban-held town where helicopter-borne US Marines launched an operation before dawn on Wednesday to uproot the militants. Eighteen journalists were killed in Afghanistan between 1992 and 2008, making it the 11th most dangerous country in the world for media workers, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least one more has been killed this year.

Journalists have also been kidnapped in Afghanistan. *AP