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British journalist killed in Afghanistan

Published on 10/01/2010

London - A British journalist was killed and another seriously injured in an explosion in Afghanistan which happened when they were embedded with US marines, Britain's Ministry of Defence said Sunday.

Rupert Hamer, defence correspondent for the Sunday Mirror newspaper, died when an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up as he accompanied a US Marine Corps patrol near Nawa, southern Afghanistan, on Saturday.

A photographer from the newspaper, Philip Coburn, was hurt in the explosion and is "in a serious but stable condition", the ministry said.

It added that a US marine and a member of the Afghan National Army also died in the blast, while four other US marines were seriously injured.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth paid tribute to Hamer, saying news of his death had caused "great sadness".

"Both Rupert Hamer and Phil Coburn accompanied me on my most recent trip to Afghanistan," he said.

"I got to know them well and I was impressed by their hard work and professionalism…

"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 front line."