French journalist dies after tank accident

New York, December 23, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) mourns the death of French television reporter Patrick Bourrat, who was killed in an accident while covering U.S. military exercises in northern Kuwait.

Bourrat, a veteran 50-year-old reporter with France’s TF1, died yesterday of injuries sustained on December 21, 2002 when he was struck by a U.S. tank while covering U.S. military maneuvers in the Al-Udairi training area, near the Iraqi border. TF1 senior reporter Nahida Nakad told CPJ that the journalist died of heart failure in connection with internal injuries sustained to his spleen and kidneys.

According to TF1’s Web site, Bourrat had worked as a journalist since 1979, when he began with the station as a freelancer. He has covered numerous international conflicts for TF1 in countries such as Rwanda, Lebanon, and Russia, where in 1993 he was wounded in the arm by gunfire while covering a military putsch against then-president Boris Yeltsin.

“We mourn the tragic loss of our colleague Patrick Bourrat,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”