AFP photographer shot in Afghanistan

An Irish freelance photographer working in Afghanistan is recovering today in a US military hospital in Germany after being shot in the stomach.

Press Gazette undetstands that former AFP man John McHugh was embedded with US troops in Kunar province when he was hit.

Photographer Paul Francis, who has been in contact with McHugh, said: ‘He was with a quick reaction force which was responding to an ambush when they walked into a second ambush.

‘It was a heavy firefight – with several people killed and wounded – and he was shot in the stomach. He managed to find cover for about 15 minutes before they got him out in a Humvee.”

McHugh cut his teeth as a photojournalist working for the National News Press Agency in London.

Although serious injured, his wounds are not thought to be life-threatening.

According to Francis, McHugh decided to go back to Afghanistan independently because his employers, AFP, did not want to send him there.

Francis said: ‘He’s a very nice chap and an extremely good snapper. I hope when he’s better this experience doesn’t dampen his spirit, as I’m sure it won’t.”

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