London, England (CNN) -- A British journalist was killed and a second wounded in Afghanistan when the vehicle in which they were traveling struck an improvised explosive device, the Ministry of Defence said Sunday.
Rupert Hamer, defense correspondent for the Sunday Mirror
newspaper, and photographer Philip Coburn were embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and were accompanying a patrol near Nawa in southern Afghanistan when the explosion occurred Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.
"Despite the best efforts of medics at the scene, Mr. Hamer died of his wounds," the statement said. "Mr. Coburn remains in a serious but stable condition."
A U.S. Marine and a member of the Afghan National Army were also killed in the explosion, the ministry said. Four U.S. Marines were seriously injured.
"Both Rupert Hamer and Phil Coburn accompanied me on my most recent trip to Afghanistan," said British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth in the statement. "I got to know them well and I was impressed by their hard work and professionalism. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of both men at this extremely distressing time."
In recent weeks, the ministry had worked with Hamer on a special Christmas edition of the Sunday Mirror, containing messages for deployed personnel from their families, Ainsworth said.
"The sacrifice of service personnel is well documented and rightly respected, but this news demonstrates the risks also faced by journalists who keep the public informed of events on the front line," he said.
Hamer is the second journalist to die in Afghanistan in recent weeks. On December 30, Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, 34, died along with four Canadian soldiers when a roadside bomb struck their armored vehicle in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.
According to a tally kept by Reporters without Borders, Hamer would be the 20th journalist to die in Afghanistan, and the 12th foreign journalist, since September 11, 2001.