The International Security Assistance Force of NATO admitted it mistakenly shot and killed a BBC reporter in Afghanistan whom they thought was an insurgent.
Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, 25, a Pastho language journalist, was killed by an American soldier in July after troops responded to an attack by militants in the town of Tarin Kowt in the southern Uruzgan province. The U.S. soldier thought Khpulwak was a suicide bomber, a report found.
NATO launched an investigation into the killing after initial reports wrongly declared that he was shot to death by insurgents
According to the report, NATO troops arrived at the offices of Radio Television Afghanistan, in the wake of a suicide bombing attack by insurgents. As the soldiers started to clear the building, they spotted a man with something clinched in one of his fists and reaching for something on his person with his other hand.
The report added: Based on the events of the preceding minutes the soldier assessed the actions as those of a suicide bomber who was taking steps to detonate an IED [improvised explosive device] that posed a lethal threat to numerous soldiers in the immediate area. He shot the individual with his M-4, killing him.
BBC speculated that what Khpulwak was likely holding up in hands was his press card.
At the time, the Taliban took responsibility for the attack, but denied killing Khpulwak.
As Khpulwak was hiding out in the building, he reportedly sent text messages to his family, one of which read: I am hiding. Death has come. Pray for me if I die.
Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News said in a statement, Ahmed Omed's death further highlights the great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world. It is essential that journalists are given the best possible protection whilst reporting in dangerous situations so that the world can hear their stories.
He added: Our thoughts are with Ahmed Omed's family and we will continue to do all we can to support them.