This story is from our network Source: AFP

Hotel hit 'deliberate': French TV

FOOTAGE filmed by France 3 television of a strike on a hotel which killed two journalists in Baghdad today shows a US tank targeting the journalists' hotel and waiting at least two minutes before firing.

The journalist and film editor who filmed the attack, Herve de Ploeg, who filmed the attack, said: "I did not hear any shots in the direction of the tank, which was stationed at the west entrance of the Al-Jumhuriya (Republic) bridge, 600 metres north-west of the hotel.

The tank's turret is seen moving toward the Palestine Hotel, where foreign reporters have set up shop, and the gun carriage lifting and waiting at least two minutes before opening up.

The French TV channel had positioned two cameras in two rooms facing the bridge as of 6.30am (11.30pm AEST).

"It had been very quiet for a moment. There was no shooting at all. Then I saw the turret turning in our direction and the carriage lifting. It faced the target," said De Ploeg.

"It was not a case of instinctive firing," he said. The firing took place at 11.59am (5.59pm AEST), said France 3 reporter Caroline Sinz.

"I'm very specific because I was due to go on air," she explained.

The incident killed a cameraman for the Telecinco Spanish television station and another for the British news agency Reuters. Three Reuters staffers were also wounded.

The Spanish cameraman was named as Jose Couso, 37. The Reuters cameraman was named as Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk, 35.

A US commander said the tank fired a single round at the hotel.

"The tank was receiving fire from the hotel, RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and small-arms fire, and engaged with one tank round. The firing stopped," said General Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, speaking at Baghdad's international airport.

A reporter for the Arab satellite television Al-Jazeera died earlier today and a cameraman was injured after the station's offices in Baghdad were hit in a separate attack that the Qatar-based channel charged was a deliberate US strike.

One dead as pedestrians run over
Man dies after ultralight plane crash
Labor wins by-election
Nitschke unveils $100 suicide device
Bomb explodes on Pakistan bus
Inquiry into rural Victoria football
Police find woman's body
Woman dies after car hits tree
Aussies to look for WMD in Iraq
US extradites woman drug chief
US army to spend $16.9 bn in Seoul
No request from US: Hill
Puffer fish en route to sauce plant
Nitschke to show euthanasia kit
Rebel fighting leaves 23 dead
Elderly death 'suspicious'
Distillery found in SA prison
Frisking flyers a 'gross invasion'
Climbers found on NZ's peak
Labor backs constitution change
Ruddock demands explanation
No charges over chairlift collapse
Taiwan reports new SARS cases
Primitive raft heading for Sydney
Diver dies off north Qld
AMA insurance push
Search for skipper called off
Man charged over fake cheques
Charges over tourist truck accident
Police killed in bomb attack


We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name and suburb/location. We also require a working e-mail address not for publication, but for verification. The telephone field is optional.
Fill in the form below and click on the submit button.
Full name:
E-mail address:
Telephone (optional):
      Your comment:

privacy            Advertiser Newspapers Ltd

Archive Search:
Newstext is our online newspaper library with more than 150 papers archived. You need to register to search.
Pick a pic from our extensive archives at Newsphotos.
Buy or sell your car, find spare parts and read the best motoring news in our Motoring section.

Find a home anywhere.

Suburb or postcode: