May 21, 2008, in Baghdad, Iraq
Ouda, 32, a cameraman for Al-Afaq television, was returning home from an assignment at about 5 p.m. when he was shot in the Obaidi district of Baghdad, according to CPJ interviews and news reports.
Station spokeswoman Bushra Abdul-Amir told Reuters that witnesses reported seeing Ouda shot by an "American sniper." A witness interviewed by CPJ said that he believed Ouda was struck by a U.S. military sniper deployed on top of a nearby communications building. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns. Al-Afaq correspondent Tariq Maher told Reuters that the shooting occurred during crossfire.
The U.S. military disputed the account. A military spokesman told CPJ that U.S. forces had halted operations in the area at the time of the shooting. "Operational reports indicate that coalition forces conducted these targeted operations between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. After 9 a.m., our efforts changed to conduct routine patrol of the streets of Baghdad," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Maura A. Gillen said in an e-mail to CPJ.
Job: Camera Operator
Beats Covered: War
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire: Military Officials