"It's a war without witnesses"

Reporters Without Borders stressed that “black holes of information” were not a first, pointing to no-go or hard-to-access zones such as Eritrea, Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province or parts of Afghanistan.

But “there has been an ideological shift,” said Perrin, who started covering Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet war in the country.

“Travelling with Mujahideen was no different in terms of risk from any war situation: you could be killed by the Soviet army, step on a landmine or be victim of a bombing.

“But it didn’t necessarily involve being kidnapped, beaten up, tortured and executed. They didn’t see journalists as enemies.”