The Story Exchange is deeply saddened today to hear of the killing of Anja Niedringhaus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer.anja-niedringhaus-horizontal-gallery

Niedringhaus was fatally shot in Afghanistan while reporting on this weekend’s presidential election. Another AP reporter, Kathy Gannon, was wounded in the attack but is reported to be in stable condition.

AP President Gary Pruitt praised Niedringhaus for her courage and skill, describing her as “spirited, intrepid and fearless.” The attack comes just weeks after another journalist, Sardar Ahmad, was gunned down in Kabul while dining with family members, who were also killed.

During her time in Afghanistan, Niedringhaus documented women lawmakers’ fight for rights. When the Taliban ruled in the late ’90s, women rarely left their homes; during the last election in 2010, more than 60 women won seats in Parliament. Niedringhaus photographed many of Afghan’s female lawmakers (see a selection of her portraits here.)

Women have been playing an unusually prominent role in this year’s election, with Habiba Sarabi running for vice president on a leading national ticket. Niedringhaus had been covering that race — see her recent photo of Sarabi here — and surely would have been there to document the outcome on Saturday. Sadly, her life and career are over too soon.

Image credit: CNN.