Eighth Journalist Killed In Afghanistan


(AP) A Swedish television journalist was killed early Tuesday by armed men who were robbing the house where he was staying in northern Afghanistan.

Ulf Stroemberg, a cameraman for Sweden’s TV4, was the eighth journalist to die in Afghanistan since the start of the U.S.-led military campaign on Oct. 7.

Two young masked men armed with Kalashnikov rifles broke into the house in Taloqan where a group of Swedish journalists was staying and took cameras, computers, a satellite telephone, and money from journalists working for the newspaper Aftonbladet, the paper reported.

They then moved to the next room where Stroemberg was staying and awoke Stroemberg with a knock on the door, said Rolf Porseryd, the reporter who was sharing his room.

“As soon as he opened the door, there was a bang. Ulf fell over me,” Porseryd said in a telephone interview with the broadcaster.

Porseryd said he and the Aftonbladet journalists tried to revive Stroemberg and rushed him to a hospital, where a doctor pronounced him dead.

In Stockholm, TV4’s program director Jan Scherman said Tuesday that the network was pulling its journalists out of Afghanistan “as soon as possible.”

Porseryd left Taloqan later Tuesday with Stroemberg’s body and two Aftonbladet journalists in a caravan of foreign journalists bound for Tajikistan, News Editor Sven Irving said in Stockholm.

Two other TV4 journalists based in the Afghan capital of Kabul were flown to Islamabad on a United Nations air transport, Irving said.

Taloqan has been the base for scores of foreign journalists covering the siege of Kunduz. The city fell to the northern alliance late Sunday after a two-week siege.

Four journalists — two from the Reuters news agency, one from the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, and one from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo — were ambushed and killed last week on the road between the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital, Kabul.

Earlier this month, two French radio journalists and a writer for a German magazine died while reporting from the front lines in northern Afghanistan.

Stroemberg, 42, had worked for TV4 since 1998, the network said.

“I knew him personally. He was a serious professional,” Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said from Malta, adding that he had expressed his condolences to Stroemberg’s wife and three children.

“It is a tragedy and goes to show that the profession of a journalist is also a very dangerous one,” Persson said.

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