|US troops 'crazy' in killing of
Jamie Wilson in Baghdad
Tuesday August 19, 2003
Journalists who were with a Reuters news cameraman shot dead by US troops while filming outside a Baghdad prison yesterday accused the soldiers of behaving in a "crazy" and negligent fashion.
They claimed the Americans had spotted the Reuters crew outside the jail half an hour before Mazen Dana was killed and must have realised he was not a guerrilla carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The chief executive of Reuters, Tom Glocer, said: "The latest death is hard to bear. That's why I am calling upon the highest levels of the US government for a full and comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy."
Dana, 43, is the second Reuters cameraman to be killed since the US-led force invaded Iraq. His death brought to 17 the number of journalists or their assistants who have died in Iraq since the war began on March 20.
The journalist was killed on Sunday when soldiers in two tanks opened fire while he was filming near Abu Ghurayb prison, which had earlier come under mortar attack.
The US army, which has launched an investigation, claimed its soldiers thought his camera was a weapon.
But colleagues who were with the award-winning cameraman when he was killed told a different story.
Nael al-Shyoukhi, a Reuters soundman, said the soldiers "saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission.
"After we filmed we went into the car and prepared to go when a convoy led by a tank arrived and Mazen stepped out of the car to film.
"I followed him and Mazen walked three to four metres. We were noted and seen clearly.
"A soldier on the tank shot at us. I lay on the ground. I heard Mazen and I saw him scream and touching his chest. I cried at the soldier, telling him 'you killed a journalist'. They shouted at me and asked me to step back and I said 'I will step back but please help, please help'."
He said they tried to help but Dana was bleeding heavily. "Mazen took a last breath and died before my eyes."
Stephan Breitner, of France 2 television, added: "We were all there for at least half an hour. They knew we were journalists. After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was an accident. They are very tense. They are crazy."
Dana's death has once again turned the spotlight on US soldiers and their shoot first, ask questions later tactics in Iraq.
Numerous civilians have been killed by American troops at roadblocks, often without warning.
The shootings have helped to undermine confidence in the US-led coalition among the Iraqi population.
Film that Dana was shooting as he died showed a tank driving toward him. Six shots were heard. The camera appeared to tilt forward and drop to the ground after the first shot.
The US army spokesman, Colonel Guy Shields, said: "Last night we had a terrible tragedy. I can assure you no one feels worse than the soldier who fired the shots."
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which honoured Dana with an International Press Freedom Award in November 2001 for his work covering conflict in his hometown of Hebron in the West Bank, yesterday wrote to the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, asking him to conduct a full inquiry.
Meanwhile US army engineers continued to fight a blaze yesterday on Iraq's main oil export pipeline after two attacks by saboteurs last week set it on fire.
Paul Bremer, the US governor of Iraq, said on Sunday the country was losing $7m (£4.4m) a day because of the sabotage of the export pipeline to Turkey.
The pipeline only reopened last Wednesday but was shut down two days later after saboteurs blew a hole in it.
A second fire broke out nearby late on Saturday, which is also thought to have been the work of guerrillas.
Journalists under attack
23.07.2003: Press watchdog warns over Iraq safety
13.06.2003: Thompson was 'thorn in MoD's side'
30.05.2003: BBC brings in 'safety tsar'
28.05.2003: Victim's family files lawsuit against US troops
02.05.2003: Deaths were 'accident'
02.05.2003: Watchdog condemns Iraq deaths
25.04.2003: Powell defends attack on Baghdad hotel
16.04.2003: First female journalist dies in Iraq
15.04.2003: Toll rises as Argentine reporter dies
14.04.2003: CNN defiant after Tikrit firefight
11.04.2003: 'I didn't want to die,' says Times man
10.04.2003: Editors blast Rumsfeld over 'reckless' US strike
10.04.2003: Al-Jazeera crew attacked in Detroit
09.04.2003: Straw to seek explanation for journalist deaths
09.04.2003: 'We were almost lynched', say journalists
09.04.2003: Fury at US as attacks kill three journalists
09.04.2003: Ukraine mourns dead journalist
08.04.2003: US claims killings were 'self defence'
08.04.2003: Military accused of targeting non-embedded journalists
08.04.2003: Army admits firing on hotel
08.04.2003: US: press deaths 'unfortunate'
08.04.2003: Second journalist dies after hotel strike
08.04.2003: Reuters man killed in US attack
08.04.2003: Journalists injured as Baghdad hotel attacked
08.04.2003: Al-Jazeera claims military 'cover up'
08.04.2003: Al-Jazeera cameraman killed in US raid
07.04.2003: Spanish and German reporters killed
04.04.2003: US journalist killed in Iraq
01.04.2003: Military accused of mistreating reporters
Kaveh Ibrahim Golestan and Stuart Hughes
20.05.2003: Do not rely on embedded journalists, urges BBC man
08.04.2003: BBC producer has foot amputated
03.04.2003: BBC film maker killed by landmine
04.04.2003: Obituary: Kaveh Golestan
16.04.2003: Journalists killed, missing and held in Iraq
09.04.2003: Media casualties of other conflicts
09.04.2003: Iraq - the most dangerous war for journalists
18.05.2003: Writer hanged by Iraq 'no spy'
18.05.2003: Donald Trelford: Simply a journalist after a scoop
03.05.2003: C4 cameraman killed in Gaza
Interview with wife of missing cameraman
01.05.2003: 'Whenever I dream about him, he is still alive'
ITN's Terry Lloyd and crew
27.05.2003: MoD opens ITN Iraq inquiry
16.04.2003: Wife of missing ITN man in fresh appeal
15.04.2003: Lloyd 'caught between crossfire'
15.04.2003: ITN crew remain missing in Iraq
03.04.2003: Powell responds to wife of missing cameraman
03.04.2003: US and UK 'know what happened' to Lloyd and his crew
01.04.2003: Families of missing reporters ask Jesse Jackson for help
25.03.2003: Wife in plea for missing ITN cameraman
24.03.2003: BBC takes care after journalist's death
24.03.2003: Colleagues mourn ITN reporter's death
24.03.2003: ITV stands down crews after Terry Lloyd is killed
24.03.2003: Terry Lloyd obituary by David Mannion
24.03.2003: Terry Lloyd obituary by David Nicholson
BBC's John Simpson survives attack
09.04.2003: Simpson: journalists 'taking a hammering'
07.04.2003: Simpson recovering from 'friendly fire' attack
07.04.2003: Simpson: 'I saw the bomb come down'
NBC's David Bloom
07.04.2003: Blood clot kills NBC's star correspondent
08.04.2003: Obituary: David Bloom
Channel 4 News' Gaby Rado
13.06.2003: Rado among winners at media awards
27.05.2003: Amnesty creates award in honour of Rado
31.03.2003: Viewers and colleagues pay tribute to Rado
31.03.2003: Gaby Rado obituary by Jon Snow
Comment and analysis
15.06.2003: Philip Knightley: Turning the tanks on the reporters
13.04.2003: Stuart Purvis: Showing courage in line of fire
10.04.2003: Steve Bell: Drawing fire
24.03.2003: Matt Wells: Journalists in the line of fire
08.04.2002: Nik Gowing: 'Don't get in our way'
08.04.2003: Captured Polish journalists escape
03.04.2003: Photographer Molly Bingham on her seven-day ordeal
03.04.2003: Australian trio still held in Iraq
03.04.2003: Freed journalists tell of eight-day Iraqi prison ordeal
MediaGuardian.co.uk special report
Iraq - the media war
Breaking news on the Iraq war
Guardian Unlimited special report: Iraq
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