[Note: This post has been updated] Calgary Herald journalist Michelle Lang, 34, and four Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Wednesday, CBC News reports.
Lang grew up in Vancouver and had also worked in Regina and Moose Jaw. She won a National Newspaper Award in 2008 for best beat reporting.
Lang is the first Canadian journalist to be killed while covering the conflict in Afghanistan. Seven journalists from other countries have also died.
There are no details about how Lang and four soldiers were killed.
According to the CBC report, the attack “came during a community security patrol to both gather information on the pattern of life and to maintain security in the area.”
The Calgary Herald reported that “Lang, 34, was on patrol with a Canadian convoy of soldiers in the Kandahar area when the military vehicle they were travelling in struck a roadside bomb.”
The National Post‘s Don Martin remembered Lang in a column. He wrote:
“Michelle Lang, a 34-year-old Calgary Herald journalist, embraced the big picture of her assignment. One of her last files, just days after her arrival on the base last week, was the sendoff salute to Lieutenant Andrew Nuttal — killed by a bomb just before Christmas — before she jumped aboard an armoured vehicle with a handful of soldiers to glimpse this strange war-ravaged country up close and personal.”
Canwest Publishing president and CEO Dennis Skulsky said in a company statement:
“This is an unbelievable loss to her fiancé Michael, her family and the countless colleagues and friends at the Calgary Herald, Canwest News Service and across our organization….Michelle
took this assignment voluntarily, as do all of our war zone journalists
and was two weeks into a six week assignment. Michelle had been filing
stories of Christmas with the troops, she had interviewed military
leaders about the progress our military had made and written a story
about the diverse population of civilians serving in support functions
in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers along with our support have been extended to Michelle’s family.”
Read Lang’s Calgary Herald blog Michelle Lang in Afghanistan.