Al-Jazeera cameraman killed in US raid

War toll: journalists killed and missing in Iraq

Jason Deans
Tuesday April 8, 2003
The Guardian

An al-Jazeera cameraman has died and another of the Arabic-language news channel's journalists is missing after a coalition bombing raid hit its Baghdad office this morning.

The office of another Arabic news network, Abu Dhabi TV, was also hit, according to reports on the BBC and al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera cameraman Tareq Ayyoub, who was seriously wounded in the bombing, died from his injuries, the channel announced today.

The Qatar-based station described him as "martyr of duty" and a "dear and loyal colleague".

His death brings the death toll of journalists and others working for media organisations to eight in just 19 days.

Al-Jazeera showed footage of the cameraman, whose chest was covered in blood, and said another member of its Baghdad crew was missing.

"We regret to inform you that our cameraman and correspondent Tarek Ayyoub was killed this morning during the US missile strike on our Baghdad office," the Qatar-based channel said in a statement read out during a news bulletin this morning.

The network, one of the most widely watched in the Arab world, had earlier reported that Ayoub was seriously wounded in the missile attack. A second al-Jazeera correspondent was slightly wounded in the raid.

The Baghdad office of another Arabic-language news channel, Abu Dhabi TV, was also hit by coalition bombing, al-Jazeera reported.

A group of people were seen on TV carrying a wounded man to a jeep belonging to Abu Dhabi TV. He was then rushed to hospital.

According to a BBC report this morning, the Abu Dhabi TV Baghdad bureau was hit by artillery fire and the station has lost contact with its reporter.

Al-Jazeera showed images of another bomb crashing into the same neighbourhood on the bank of the Tigris river. Several television channels have offices in the area.

The death of Ayyoub makes this one of the most dangerous wars in media history with eight press lives now lost, following the death yesterday of two reporters - one from Spain and thje Germany - in an Iraqi rocket attack on a US army command centre south of Baghdad.

Among the dead are ITN's Terry Lloyd, Australian Broadcasting Corporation's cameraman Paul Moran and Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly. A BBC cameraman and translator have also been killed.

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