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November 29, 2010

Support for a celebrated war photog

Last month, celebrated war photographer João Silva lost both his legs at the knees when he stepped on a hidden bomb while on patrol with US forces in southern Afghanistan.

Now his friends have rallied to support Silva by setting up a site where people can buy limited edition Silva prints.

Silva's friend Greg Marinovich recently wrote an update on his condition:

"Spending time with João, Viv and the staff at the hospital, it dawned on me how close to death he has been. Besides losing his lower legs, he suffered a myriad of other injuries, many of them extremely serious. He has spent three weeks now in intensive care, and were it not for remarkable health professionals - and the quick action of the soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan - he would not be with us. We hope that most dangers are now behind him, and he can slowly start the road to recovery, but he is still extremely weak and exhausted by the series of operations he has had to endure. He has a few more and should be able to look forward to moving out of intensive care in a week or so. João is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection from friends and strangers around the world."

On Tuesday, The New York Times published a first-hand account of the incident written by reporter Carlotta Gall, who was on patrol with Silva at the time.

The paper's Lens blog also features the last photographs Silva took on the patrol, including three shots he took after stepping on the mine.

As the story notes, the blast could have been much worse: The plastic Russian antipersonnel mine that Silva stepped on was hooked to a 35 pound drum of fertilizer. But the detonation cord had been cut, so the bigger bomb did not explode.


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this is a great site

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Checkpoint Kabul is written by McClatchy journalists covering Afghanistan and south Asia.

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