New York, April 6, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by an incident yesterday in which an Iraqi freelance journalist working for CBS News was wounded by U.S. fire in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Troops from the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, mistook the journalist’s camera for a weapon, the U.S.-led Multi-National Forces in Iraq said in a statement. The journalist suffered a minor wound to his hip, a military official told The Associated Press. CBS described him as a reporter and camera operator, but the network said it was withholding his name to protect his safety.
The military’s statement said the incident occurred during a skirmish in which U.S. troops killed an armed insurgent and was at the site of a car bombing earlier in the day.
“During the engagement an individual that appeared to have a weapon who was standing near the insurgent was shot and injured,” the statement said. “This individual turned out to be a reporter who was pointing a video camera. He was taken to a military hospital for treatment with minor wounds, and is expected to recover.”
The statement said the incident was under investigation. CPJ is seeking further details about the case. At least 37 journalists and 18 media support staff have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. U.S. fire is responsible for at least 11 of the media deaths.