U.S. troops kill Reuters cameraman at prison near Baghdad
- Military officials said that troops thought the journalist’s camera was a grenade launcher; an investigation will be conducted.
Aug. 18, 2003 — U.S. Central Command acknowledged today that coalition forces “engaged” Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, 43, Aug. 17 near Abu Ghyriab prison outside of Baghdad.
According to a Reuters report, the military said they thought his camera was a grenade launcher. A soundman working with Dana said that the military knew they were journalists.
In a statement, Central Command said, “the individual was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.”
Dana’s last pictures show a U.S. tank driving toward him followed by several shots, according to Reuters.
A coalition spokesman said in a news conference today that the military will be investigating the incident.
Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer has called for “the fullest and most comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy.”
Dana, a 43-year-old Palestinian, had worked for Reuters mostly in the West Bank city of Hebron. He received the Committee to Protect Journalist’s International Press Freedom Award in 2001 for his work in Hebron where he was wounded and beaten many times.
Dana is the 17th journalist to die in Iraq since the war started on March 20. He is the second Reuters cameraman to die in action. Taras Protsyk, 35, was killed when a U.S. tank fired rounds into the Palestine Hotel April 8. Two other journalists from British television network ITN, have been missing since late March.
© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press