LONDON: A newspaper journalist became the first British reporter to die covering the war in Afghanistan when he was killed in an explosion while embedded with US Marines, officials said Sunday.
Rupert Hamer of the Sunday Mirror newspaper was blown up Saturday by a roadside bomb as he accompanied Marines patrolling near Nawa, southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence in London said.
Philip Coburn, 43, a photographer for the British tabloid working alongside Hamer, was injured in the explosion and was “in a serious but stable condition,” officials said. A US Marine also died in the blast.
Hamer, a 39-year-old father of three young children and the paper’s defence correspondent, was the first British journalist to die in the Afghanistan conflict, the Foreign Office said.
He was the second foreign journalist to be killed in the country in the space of 10 days.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “My heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of Rupert and Philip.
“Their courage, skill and dedication to reporting from the frontline was incredibly important and ensured that the world could see and read about our heroic troops.”