British journalist killed in Afghanistan blast

A British journalist was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan yesterday, the British Ministry of Defence announced today.

A British journalist was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan yesterday, the British Ministry of Defence announced today.

Rupert Hamer, the Sunday Mirror’s defence correspondent, died of his wounds at the scene north-west of Nawa.

The newspaper’s photographer, Philip Coburn, was injured in the blast, which also killed a US Marine and an Afghan soldier, the MoD said.

Coburn is in a serious but stable condition, the MoD said.

He and Hamer were embedded with the US Marine Corps when they were caught in the explosion.

They were accompanying a patrol when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Defence secretary Bob Ainsworth said: “Both Rupert Hamer and Phil Coburn accompanied me on my most recent trip to Afghanistan.

“I got to know them well and I was impressed by their hard work and professionalism.

“My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of both men at this extremely distressing time.

“As a defence correspondent, Rupert Hamer was in regular contact with press officers at the MoD.

“I know they had great respect for his work and the news of his death has been met with great sadness amongst us all.

“In recent weeks we worked closely with Rupert on a special Christmas edition of the Sunday Mirror, containing messages for deployed personnel from their loved ones.

“The paper was very well received by troops on the ground and its success is testament both to Rupert’s hard work and his understanding of service personnel.

“The sacrifice of service personnel is well documented and rightly respected, but this news demonstrates the risks also faced by journalists who keep the public informed of events on the frontline.”

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