An experienced journalist with dual British and Swedish citizenship has been shot dead while reporting from Afghanistan.
Foreign correspondent Nils Horner, 51, was talking to a translator on a street in Kabul when he was killed this morning.
Police said they were investigating whether it was an insurgent attack targeting a foreigner or whether the motive was personal.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the group was responsible for the attack, which came two months after the Islamic militant movement staged a suicide bombing and shooting assault against a Lebanese restaurant that killed 13 foreigners and eight Afghans in the same area.
Mr Horner had been working for Swedish Radio SR – with whom he had given more than a decade’s service – mostly in Asia and the Middle East, including Afghanistan and Baghdad.
Today friends and colleagues paid tribute to the seasoned reporter.
The station’s political commentator, Agneta Ramberg, said: “We mourn a dear and esteemed colleague, but it is to Nils’ family that our thoughts are with today.
“He was extremely safety conscious, with huge experience having to use that knowledge.
“He had also been in Kabul many, many times before and knew all about the security situation there. But this, to suddenly be shot in the street, no one can protect oneself against and it’s not something that anyone could expect that security in Kabul.”
Stockholm University professor Christian Christensen tweeted: “Nils Horner was in Afghanistan to cover a country in crisis. Crisis that my country (US) and others created. Context matters.”
A guard at a restaurant across the street from where the attack happened said two young men approached the journalist as he was talking to his translator at about 11am on the side of the road.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that Nils Horner, a dual British and Swedish national, has died in Afghanistan.
“Our Swedish colleagues are leading in providing consular assistance in this case.”