Arab TV Reporter Killed in Baghdad Attack

Wext: Monday, 13.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST


12. Sep. 2004 BAGHDAD, Iraq - An Arab television journalist was killed and two other journalists were wounded Sunday when a U.S. helicopter opened fire to destroy a U.S. vehicle disabled by a car bomb, witnesses and their employers said.

Mazen al-Tumeizi, who was working for Al-Arabiya television, was taping a report when an explosion behind him caused him to double-over and scream "I'm dying, I'm dying." He died moments later, Al-Arabiya said after airing the video.

An Iraqi working as a camera operator for Reuters Television was wounded and reported in stable condition, the agency said here. His name was withheld for security reasons.

Getty Images said one of its freelance photographers, Ghaith Abdul Ahad, an Iraqi citizen, was also slightly wounded in the head while covering the clashes and the helicopter attack in Haifa street.

The helicopter incident occurred shortly after 6:30 a.m. when a U.S. Army Bradley fighting vehicle was en route to help a patrol in distress during clashes on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad, military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan said.

The vehicle was disabled by a car bomb and the four-member crew was evacuated, Boylan said. A U.S. Army helicopter opened fire to prevent looters from stripping the vehicle, Boylan said.

He said the Army could not confirm civilian casualties, but added "military operations are inherently dangerous" and "great care should be taken by all to avoid and keep a safe distance from any active military operation as unpredictable events can occur."

Iraqi officials said at least 13 people, including children, were killed on Haifa street but they did not specify how many died in the helicopter attack.

Jawad Kadhim, a Baghdad correspondent for Al-Arabiya, said al-Tumeizi was of Palestinian origin but had been living in Iraq for several years. He had worked for Al-Arabiya's Baghdad office 14 months ago, Kadhim said.

"May God rest his soul," Kadhim said. "His blood was splashed over the camera's lense."

On March 18, a correspondent for Al-Arabiya, Ali al-Khatib, and cameraman Ali Abdel-Aziz were killed near a U.S. military checkpoint while covering the aftermath of a rocket attack on the Burj al-Hayat hotel in Baghdad.

At least 30 journalists and other employees of media agencies have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the war in March 2003.

Source: AP

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