Shapiro Media Productions of North Bergen

Lee Shapiro was killed in Afghanistan while working on a project for Rev. Moon’s Unification Church. Lee Shapiro’s company, Shapiro Media Productions, was based in North Bergen

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2 Americans Reported Killed In an Ambush in Afghanistan

By WILLIAM G. BLAIR, Special to the New York Times

New York Times
Published: Wednesday, October 28, 1987

The State Department said yesterday that it had received a report that two American film journalists were killed in Afghanistan this month while making a documentary about the civil war there.

But a department spokesman said American diplomats in Islamabad and Peshawar in neighboring Pakistan were unable to confirm the report, which originated with an anti-Communist guerrilla group that the Americans had reportedly been traveling with in northern Afghanistan.

The spokesman, Arthur Berger of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, said the department had received conflicting reports on the fate of the two journalists and was also unable to confirm their identities. He said other information, which he declined to characterize, had been given to the American authorities that the two journalists had been captured by Government forces, not killed.

The Associated Press, quoting American diplomats and Afghan guerrillas, reported from Islamabad that the two journalists were Lee Shapiro, president of Shapiro Media Productions of North Bergen, N.J., and Jim Lindeloff, a 27-year-old sound and camera man, from California.

The A.P. said that the film team and its guerrilla escort were ambushed near Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, about Oct. 11 and that the two Americans were killed in the fighting.

One of the financial backers of the documentary project was Causa International, a division of the Unification Church headed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, according to Antonio Betancourt, a vice president of Causa.

Mr. Betancourt said yesterday that Mr. Shapiro, 38 years old, graduated from the London Film School early in the 1970’s and from the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, N.Y., in 1978. Before that, Mr. Betancourt said, Mr. Shapiro had graduated from the University of Colorado and had attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma.

In July 1986, a documentary that Mr. Shapiro had made in 1984 on the plight of the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua was shown in New York on Channel 13 of the Public Broadcasting Service. The documentary, ”Nicaragua Was Our Home,” accused the Sandinista Government of the calculated brutalization of the Miskitos.

Mr. Betancourt said Mr. Lindeloff was a paramedic as well as a film maker. He said he believed Mr. Lindeloff was from California and had attended the University of California at Los Angeles.

Telephone calls to Mr. Shapiro’s company in North Bergen were not answered.

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