NBC soundman dies of injuries sustained last month

New York, July 7, 2003—Richard Wild, a 24-year-old British free-lance cameraman, died on Saturday, July 5, after being gunned down in central Baghdad. In a separate incident, Jeremy Little, a free-lance soundman working for the U.S.-based television network NBC, died on Sunday of complications from injuries sustained during a grenade attack in central Iraq last week.

Their deaths bring to 16 the total number of journalists killed while reporting from Iraq since the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein began in mid-March. Five of those journalists died in non-combat-related incidents. Two other journalists remain missing.

On Saturday, Wild died after an unidentified assailant approached him and shot him in the head at close range on a street near Baghdad’s Natural History Museum, according to international press reports. Some of the reports stated that Wild was not carrying a camera or wearing any clothing that would have identified him as a journalist. CPJ is investigating the incident.

On Sunday, Little, who had been injured in a grenade attack in the Iraqi town of Fallujah on June 29 while embedded with U.S. troops, died of “post-operative complications,” a statement from NBC News said. Little, a 27-year-old Australian national who was embedded with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for NBC News, had been receiving treatment at a military hospital in Germany.

“We mourn the deaths of our colleagues, who braved the dangers of postwar Iraq to bring us words and images from that country,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “Their deaths are a tragic reminder that reporting from Iraq remains fraught with risks.”