Author Topic: On Afghanistan's frontline - BBC  (Read 1908 times)

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Offline Yrys

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On Afghanistan's frontline - BBC
« on: February 20, 2008, 01:48:25 »
The picture shows an American soldier in a bunker in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley during fierce fighting with the Taleban.

Quote
British photographer Tim Hetherington talks about his photograph of a US soldier in Afghanistan which has won the 2007 World Press Photo Award.

 "I was working with the writer Sebastian Junger on assignment for Vanity Fair on a year-long project with Battle Company of the US 503rd Airborne Battalion.
We were based in Korengal Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar province, towards the border with Pakistan. The area is considered to be the epicentre of the US forces
fighting in Afghanistan and one of the most deadly. A place where the combat is often at close quarters. The platoon was based at a rocky outpost called Restrepo,
named after a US medic who had died. The fighting in this region is pretty intense, I was quite surprised. I hadn't expected it to be so heavy but in this area you can
 expect to engage the Taleban at least once per day.

'Everyone was exhausted'

The day this picture was a pretty intense day. We'd already had two engagements with Taleban or foreign fighter insurgents in the area, and they had established
 a line of fire inside the base. As the picture shows, everyone was exhausted. One guy had to jump into the base and broke his leg, requiring a medical evacuation
by helicopter later in the night. We later received a radio communication that a supply of grenades and suicide vests had entered the valley. We were perched on
the hillside in this valley fearing the enemy had come to the perimeter of the bunker, maybe 30 meters or so and might attempt to overrun us. Let's just say we were
concerned. In the spring, another American base in Nuristan was on the end of a concentrated attack. US troops ended up calling in air support on their own compound
 to survive. With that fresh in our minds it wasn't impossible to contemplate the idea of being overrun.

Final edit

At the time I took the picture, I remember seeing the image on the back of the digital camera back showing it to Sebastian. I knew it was good. I couldn't scroll through
the pictures because of the light emitted from the camera could be seen at night and therefore could put us in danger.I remained in the valley for another week or so, and
then came back to the US, before returning for another operation. I then broke my leg on a combat operation in October while coming down a mountain. I had to be operated
on in Bagram, and since then I've been recovering, before going back in April.

Winning the top prize in the World Press Photo Contest garners attention like no other photo award. I've won prizes in the Contest before, but not the main one. You can't put
yourself in a position to win the top prize; it's such a chance thing. In the end, Vanity Fair didn't use this picture in their publication. We tried to use it as the opening spread,
but it didn't work as well as the edit we finally chose.

I'm committed to this project. I wouldn't characterise myself as a press photographer, more a documentary one, working on long-term projects.
The beauty of this assignment is that in January Vanity fair ran 10-12 uninterrupted pages of our work from Afghanistan - it's not often you can get that kind of exposure.


Portraits of the Korengal soldiers - pictures

The Fight for the Korengal - pictures



Into the Valley of Death - article in Vanity Fair, Jan. 2008

Quote
A strategic passage wanted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda, Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley is among the deadliest pieces of terrain in the world for U.S. forces. One platoon is considered the tip of the American spear. Its men spend their days in a surreal combination of backbreaking labor—building outposts on rocky ridges—and deadly firefights, while they try to avoid the mistakes the Russians made. Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington join the platoon’s painfully slow advance, as its soldiers laugh, swear, and run for cover, never knowing which of them won’t make it home.


Massoud’s Last Conquest - article of Feb. 2002

Afghanistan’s Dangerous Bet - article of Nov. 2004

« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 01:57:26 by Yrys »
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Offline geo

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Re: On Afghanistan's frontline - BBC
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 08:44:38 »
Some very interesting photos of the soldiers at rest & work...

Excellent!
Chimo!

Offline Yrys

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Re: On Afghanistan's frontline - BBC
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 18:22:34 »
Some very interesting photos of the soldiers at rest & work...

Yes, I thought so too.
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Offline Yrys

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Re: On Afghanistan's frontline - BBC
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 15:53:20 »
In the same region :


Afghan-U.S. forces repel base attacks

Quote
(CNN) -- Afghan and American troops repelled a "failed attack" on U.S. and Afghan bases Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, killing 12 insurgents and wounding 12
others, the U.S. military said.

In a news release issued on Monday, the military said 30 to 40 insurgents attacked five bases in the Korengal valley in Kunar province with small arms, machine guns,
rocket-propelled grenades and indirect fire, a reference to mortars and rockets. The troops fought off the insurgents with ground fire and air support. There were no
reports of casualties among Afghan or U.S. troops, or civilians. In the Bati Kowt district of nearby Nangarhar province, two insurgents and a member of the Afghan
National Security Forces were killed during a military operation.

The troops, advised by coalition forces, were pursuing "a known suicide bomb and IED facilitator" when attackers with machine guns fired at them. Four insurgents
were detained in the incident.

In the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, an Australian special operations soldier was killed in a gunfight after Taliban extremists attacked soldiers with small-arms
fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the Australian government said.

Four other soldiers in the NATO-led force were wounded, according to NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
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"Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind."  Marcel Proust