Explosion in Afghanistan kills two

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

British officials have said that a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan killed a veteran British war correspondent and a US Marine yesterday.

Britain's Defense Ministry says Rupert Hamer, the defense correspondent for the Sunday Mirror newspaper, was killed while accompanying Marines on patrol in the Helmand province. Photographer Philip Coburn was seriously wounded by the makeshift bomb, as were four other Marines.

The Daily Mirror said that Hamer was a journalist with them for 12 years, and that this was his fifth trip to Afghanistan. Hamer is believed to be the first British journalist to be killed in the Afghan conflict. Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement expressing sympathy for his family, friends and colleagues. He was survived by a wife and three children.

Officials retracted earlier reports that an Afghan soldier was among those killed.

Hamer is the second journalist killed in Afghanistan in as many weeks. Canadian journalist Michelle Lang was killed on December 30, also by a roadside bomb.