News Photography


The New York Times

Andrew Quilty

“‘It’s a Massacre’: Blast in Kabul Deepens Toll of a Long War”

Andrew Quilty writes: “At lunchtime on a winter’s day in Kabul, where a street famous for its Afghan carpets meets another lined with government offices and embassies, an ambulance was waved through a checkpoint but stopped by police at a second. Here, its driver, sent by the Taliban, detonated explosives that filled the rear of the vehicle. 103 people were killed and a further 230 injured in the blast. Most were civilians going about their days; friends eating lunch or Interior Ministry employees queuing outside an administrative office.

“The ambulance bombing was just one in a string of attacks on predominantly civilian targets that have escalated in ferocity and frequency in the past year. Such attacks are seen as the result of intensified air campaigns from Afghan and American aircraft, which make it difficult for the Taliban and ISIS-K to engage in conventional combat against government forces. Instead, they are conducting devastating bombings in urban centres where innocent civilians make up the majority of casualties. For residents of Kabul, the battlefield is now at their doorsteps.”

The judges praised Quilty’s images as well shot. “The wide image with the entanglement of bodies and steel; it’s gruesome, but it’s like a painting, there are so many facets to it. Imagine living like that.”

Andrew Quilty