Mazen al-Tumeizi, a reporter for Al-Arabiya television, was killed after a U.S. helicopter fired missiles and machine guns to destroy a disabled American vehicle, international news reports said. Seif Fouad, a camera operator for Reuters Television, and Ghaith Abdul Ahad, a freelance photographer working for Getty Images, were wounded in the strike.
That day at dawn, fighting erupted on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad, a U.S. Bradley armored vehicle caught fire, and its four crew members were evacuated with minor injuries, according to news reports. As a crowd gathered, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire.
Video aired by Al-Arabiya showed that al-Tumeizi was preparing a report nearby when an explosion behind him caused him to double over and scream, "I'm dying, I'm dying." He died moments later, the Dubai-based station reported.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan told The Associated Press that a U.S. helicopter fired on the disabled Bradley vehicle to prevent looters from stripping it.
But Reuters quoted a statement from the military that presented a different account. "As the helicopters flew over the burning Bradley they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of the vehicle," the statement said. "Clearly within the rules of engagement, the helicopters returned fire, destroying some anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinity of the Bradley."