Iraq Report: Killed by U.S. Forces

13 Confirmed cases of journalists killed in Iraq by U.S. Forces (March 2003-August 2005)

1. Tareq Ayyoub, Al-Jazeera, April 8, 2003, Baghdad

Ayyoub, a Jordanian working with the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, was killed when a U.S. missile struck the station’s Baghdad bureau, located in a two-story villa in a residential area near the Information Ministry and a palace compound of Saddam Hussein. Al-Jazeera cameraman Zouhair Nadhim, who was outside on the roof with Ayyoub, was injured in the blast.

U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said that U.S. forces were responding to enemy fire in the area and that the Al-Jazeera journalists were caught in the crossfire. Al-Jazeera correspondents deny that any fire came from their building.

The attack occurred during heavy fighting around the bureau in an area that housed government buildings targeted by U.S. and coalition forces. Al-Jazeera officials pointed out that the U.S. military had been given the bureau’s coordinates weeks before the war began.

In an April 8, 2003 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CPJ protested the bombing and called for an immediate investigation. In October, a Centcom spokesman confirmed to CPJ that no investigation had been conducted.

The incident occurred around dawn, after intense anti-aircraft fire began in the area. Talk show host and producer Maher Abdullah, a five-year Al-Jazeera veteran who had been in Baghdad for two weeks at the time, told CPJ that planes began flying low in the area at around 6 a.m.

The crew went up to the roof to report but came down because it was unsafe. According to Abdullah, the crew realized moments later that their fixed camera had been knocked out of position and now faced the Ministry of Information building, which Iraqi authorities had explicitly warned the crew not to film. Assistant cameraman Zoheir Nadhim returned to the roof with Ayyoub to adjust the camera.

When Ayyoub and Nadhim went upstairs, Abdullah heard a plane fly so low that it sounded like it was going to crash into the building. At that point, a missile struck Al-Jazeera’s small generator, which was located outside the building at ground level just below where Ayyoub was believed to have been at the time. Two Al-Jazeera correspondents said that while they suspected that the strike caused his death, he could have been killed by other ordnance.

Another plane passed low about 15 minutes later and fired another missile, which struck across the road about 50 feet (15 meters) from the front door, blowing it off the hinges, according to Abdullah.

Raed Khattar, a cameraman for Abu Dhabi TV who, at the time, was on the roof of Abu Dhabi TV’s office, saw what was likely the first missile because his office was between the plane and Al-Jazeera’s office, he told CPJ.

Moments later, Abu Dhabi TV staff on the roof came under machine gun fire from a U.S. tank on the Jumhuriyya Bridge, and one of their three unmanned cameras was struck by a shell, staff told CPJ. The three-story building was marked with a large banner labeled “Abu Dhabi TV.”

In a statement issued hours after the incident, Centcom in Doha said that, “According to commanders on the ground, Coalition forces came under significant enemy fire from the building where the Al-Jazeera journalists were working and consistent with the right of self-defense, Coalition forces returned fire. Sadly an Al-Jazeera correspondent was killed in this exchange.”

Abdullah noted that until that morning anti-aircraft fire in the area had been sporadic. Days before April 8, Abdullah saw manned Iraqi anti-aircraft positions in the area –some 220 yards (200 meters) away on the opposite side of the generator — but not near the office. However, on April 11, he discovered one abandoned anti-aircraft gun about 44 yards (40 meters) from the bureau. Journalists from Abu Dhabi TV told CPJ that Al-Jazeera’s bureau was located near a villa used by former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Said Sahhaf.

Just before the war, CPJ obtained a copy of the February 24, 2003, letter that then Al-Jazeera Managing Director Mohammed Jasem al-Ali had sent to the Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke specifying the coordinates of the bureau.

Al-Jazeera also maintains that the night before the strike, al-Ali had received explicit assurances from U.S. State Department official Nabeel Khoury in Doha that the bureau was safe and would not be targeted. Abdullah told CPJ, “The coordinates were actually given four months in advance to the Pentagon, and we were assured that we would not be hit under any circumstances. … We would never be targeted, that was the assurance.”

In an e-mail reply to CPJ, Khoury, who said he did not recall the exact date of his meeting with Al-Jazeera, said, “I doubt very much that I assured anybody’s safety in a war zone.” He added that he did tell the station “what we had been telling all diplomats and civilians, that whereas our troops would do their utmost not to hurt civilians, there was no way to guarantee anyone’s safety in a war zone.”

In its April 8, 2003 letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld CPJ also noted that, “The attack against Al-Jazeera is of particular concern since the station’s offices were also hit in Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2001.” The Pentagon asserted, without providing additional detail, that the office was a ‘known Al-Qaeda facility,’ and that the U.S. military did not know the space was being used by Al-Jazeera.

Status of Investigation:

CPJ has repeatedly demanded that the U.S. military conduct and make public a thorough investigation into the incident. In October 2003, six months after the bombing, a U.S. military spokesman acknowledged to CPJ that no investigation into the incident was ever launched. CPJ is unaware of any military inquiry that has been conducted since that time. CPJ is still waiting for the Defense Department to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act request related to the incident that CPJ filed in May 2003.

2. Taras Protsyuk, Reuters, April 8, 2003, Baghdad
3. José Couso, Telecinco, April 8, 2003, Baghdad

Protsyuk, a cameramen for Reuters, and Couso, a cameraman for Spanish television station Telecinco, died after a U.S. tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad where most foreign journalists were based during the war. A shell hit two hotel balconies where several journalists were monitoring a battle around noon.

Protsyuk died of wounds to his head and stomach. He had worked for Reuters since 1993, covering conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. He was married with an 8-year-old son.

Couso was hit in the jaw and right leg. He was taken to Saint Raphael Hospital, where he died during surgery. Couso was married with two children.

Directly after the attack, Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, confirmed that a single shell had been fired at the hotel from a tank in response to what he said was rocket and small arms fire from the building. Journalists at the hotel deny that any gunfire came from the building.

A CPJ report
concluded that the shelling of the hotel, while not deliberate, was avoidable since U.S. commanders knew that journalists were in the hotel and were intent on not hitting it. The report called on the Pentagon to conduct a thorough and public investigation into the incident.

Status of Investigation:

On August 12, 2003, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) issued a news release summarizing the results of its investigation into the incident. The report concluded that the tank unit that opened fire on the hotel did so “in a proportionate and justifiably measured response.” It called the shelling “fully in accordance with the Rules of Engagement.”

Centcom offered some detail—consistent with CPJ’s investigation—that the tank opened fire at what it believed was an Iraqi “spotter” directing enemy fire at U.S. troops. The release also said “one 120 mm tank round was fired at the suspected enemy observer position. … It was only some time after the incident that A Company became aware of the fact that the building they fired on was the Palestine Hotel and that journalists at the hotel had been killed or injured as a result.”

However, the news release failed to address one of the conclusions in CPJ’s report: that U.S. commanders knew that journalists were in the Palestine Hotel but failed to convey this knowledge to forces on the ground.

Centcom’s results, which were summarized in the release, appeared to back away from earlier charges by U.S. military officials that the tank unit was responding to hostile fire coming from the hotel. Yet, despite considerable testimony to the contrary from several journalists in the hotel, Centcom maintains “that the enemy used portions of the hotel as a base of operations and that heavy enemy activity was occurring in those areas in and immediately around the hotel.”

In addition, the news release failed to provide other specific information, such as how the decision to target the hotel was made.

In May 2004, the Pentagon finally made public a redacted version of the U.S. Central Command investigation into the shelling.

The U.S. Central Command investigation, which included interviews with platoon and company soldiers, was completed by June 5, 2003, but the Pentagon did not clear its release until September 2004. The 52-page report was released by mail from Fort McPherson, Ga., postmarked November 1, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that CPJ filed in May 2003.

Details of the Army report, focusing on the actions of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 4th Battalion 64th Armor Regiment, are mostly consistent with CPJ’s own investigation into the shelling, which concluded that after a morning of heavy fighting near the Tigris River the tank opened fire on what it believed was an Iraqi “spotter” directing enemy fire at U.S. troops from the hotel’s upper floors or roof. It appears from soldier testimony that troops likely mistook cameramen working on the hotel’s balconies for the “spotters.”

But there were “several spot reports” about different Iraqis directing Iraqi artillery strikes in the area at the time, according to the report’s investigating officer, whose name has been excised from the report. Intercepted Iraqi radio communications indicated that the only thing that soldiers of the 64th Armor Regiment were sure of is that the tanks near the Tigris River were “being observed from a ‘multi-story’ building; one high enough to be able to observe.”

The Army report, however, also reiterates previous claims of the military that soldiers were responding to hostile fire from the hotel. That finding is at odds with CPJ’s own investigation, which was based on interviews with about a dozen reporters at the scene. None of the journalists based inside the Palestine Hotel reported evidence of hostile fire coming from the hotel, CPJ’s investigation found.

The report also fails to address the question of why U.S. troops on the ground were not made aware that the Palestine Hotel – one of the best-known civilian sites in Baghdad at the time – was full of journalists. The testimony of at least one soldier cited in the Army report appears to indicate that U.S. troops were unaware of any sensitive civilian targets in their area of operations. “At no time was there any discussion of no-fire areas, or protected sites on the east side of the Tigris River,” the soldier, whose name was excised, wrote.

4. Mazen Dana, Reuters, August 17, 2003, outside Baghdad

Dana, a veteran conflict cameraman for Reuters news agency, was killed by machine-gun fire from a U.S. tank while filming near Abu Ghraib Prison, outside Baghdad, in the afternoon. He had been reporting with a colleague near the prison after a mortar attack had killed six Iraqis there the previous night. The soldier in the tank who fired on Dana did so without warning, while the journalist filmed the vehicle approaching him from about 55 yards (50 meters).

U.S. military officials said the soldier who opened fire mistook Dana’s camera for a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher. There was no fighting in the area, and the journalists had been operating near the prison with the knowledge of U.S. troops at the prison gates.

In an August 18 letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, CPJ protested the shooting, stating that it raised “serious questions about the conduct of U.S. troops and their rules of engagement.”

On September 22, the U.S. military announced that it had concluded its investigation into the incident. A spokesman for Centcom in Iraq told CPJ that while Dana’s killing was “regrettable,” the soldier “acted within the rules of engagement.”

Dana’s soundman, Nael Shyioukhi, who witnessed the incident, told CPJ that he and Dana arrived at the prison with their driver, Munzer Abbas, in the late afternoon. According to Shyioukhi, several journalists were also in the area. Shyioukhi said that after a short while Dana suggested that they approach the prison gates to begin filming. At one point, Dana identified himself to a U.S. soldier as a journalist from Reuters and asked if a spokesman was available to comment on camera about the attack the previous night. The soldier replied that he could not comment, and no spokesmen were available. Dana then asked the soldier if he and Shyioukhi could film the prison from a nearby bridge. According to Shyioukhi, the soldier politely told them they were welcome to do so.

After filming from the bridge, located between 330 and 660 yards (300 and 600 meters) from the prison, Dana and Shyioukhi, who were wearing jeans and T-shirts, packed their equipment in their car and began to head off for the Reuters office. As they approached the main road to the prison, Dana noticed a convoy of tanks approaching and told Abbas to stop so he could film it. According to Shyioukhi, he and Dana were not apprehensive because the area was calm, and it was apparent that U.S. troops were in complete control. Neither Dana nor Shyioukhi were wearing flak jackets, and their car was not marked press.

Dana exited the car and set up his blue, canvas-encased camera with a white microphone facing the tanks while Shyioukhi lit a cigarette. Shyioukhi said Dana filmed for about 10 seconds, when suddenly, without warning, several shots rang out from the lead tank, which was approximately 55 yards (50 meters) away.

Shyioukhi ducked for cover then heard Dana scream and place his hand on his stomach, which was bleeding profusely. He said that within moments of the shooting, approximately six U.S. soldiers, including the one who shot Dana, surrounded them. Shyioukhi recounted that the soldier who shot Dana screamed at Shyioukhi to “stand back.”

A doctor arrived on an armored personnel carrier (APC) after about 10 minutes and tried to stop the bleeding. The APC took Dana back to the prison complex for treatment and to get him evacuated to a hospital.

U.S. military spokesman Col. Guy Shields called Dana’s death a “tragic incident” and promised to do everything to avoid a similar incident in the future. When questioned by London’s Independent about the rules of engagement for U.S. troops, Shields said, “I can’t give you details on the rules of engagement, but the enemy is not in formations, they are not wearing uniforms. During wartime firing a warning shot is not a necessity. There is no time for a warning shot if there is potential for an ambush.”

Some journalists at the scene questioned how troops could mistake the camera for a weapon. And according to experts who train war correspondents, although one might easily mistake a camera for an RPG launcher at a distance, a camera would be clearly visible from 55 to 110 yards (50 to 100 meters)—the distance at which Dana was hit.

Status of Investigation:

In 2004, the Pentagon, after a CPJ Freedom of Information Act request, released a redacted version of the report into the incident by the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based in Fort Carson, CO. The report absolved U.S. troops of any fault in Dana’s death and said the soldier’s actions were justified. According to the report, the soldier who fired at Dana said he “saw a male wearing a black shirt and pants,” with “dark skin and dark hair” and mistook Dana’s camera for a rocket propelled grenade launcher. The Dana report did offer useful safety recommendations, which include calls to improve military communication regarding the presence of journalists in conflict areas, improve communications between the military and the media, and reassess the rules of engagement for U.S. troops. Few if any of these appear to have been implemented.

5. Ahmad Kareem, Kurdistan TV, August 25, 2003, Mosul

Kareem, director of Kurdistan TV’s bureau in Mosul, northern Iraq, was shot and killed by U.S. forces outside his office along the Tigris River. Kurdistan TV staff and an official from the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which runs Kurdistan TV, told CPJ that Kareem was sitting outside with a colleague writing a news report when a U.S. river patrol exchanged fire with an armed group situated on the same river bank as Kurdistan TV. Kareem and his colleague were shot as they sought refuge in the bureau. The colleague, a cameraman, survived.

Kareem and his colleague had decided to work outside because there was no electricity in the building and the office was excessively hot.

Bakhtiar Talabani, media director in Kirkuk for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said U.S. military officials visited the family’s home days later to express their condolences and provide his children with money. The U.S. military has not investigated the incident nor has it issued an official apology, Talabani said.

Status of

CPJ has no knowledge of any military investigation that was conducted into this incident.

6. Ali Abdel Aziz, Al-Arabiya, March 18, 2004, Baghdad
7. Ali al-Khatib, Al-Arabiya, March 19, 2004, Baghdad

Cameraman Abdel Aziz and reporter al-Khatib of the United Arab Emirates–based news channel Al-Arabiya were shot dead near a U.S. military checkpoint in Baghdad.

The two journalists, along with a technician and a driver, were covering the aftermath of a rocket attack against the Burj al-Hayat Hotel, according to Al-Arabiya. The crew arrived at the scene in two vehicles and parked about 110 to 165 yards (100 to 150 meters) from a checkpoint near the hotel. Technician Mohamed Abdel Hafez said that he, Abdel Aziz, and al-Khatib approached the soldiers on foot and spoke with them for a few minutes but were told they could not proceed.

As the three men prepared to depart, the electricity in the area went out and a car driven by an elderly man approached U.S. troops, crashing into a small metal barrier near a military vehicle at the checkpoint. Abdel Hafez said that as the crew pulled away from the scene, one of their vehicles was struck by gunfire from the direction of the U.S. troops. Abdel Hafez said he witnessed two or three U.S. soldiers firing but was not sure at whom they were firing. He said there had been no other gunfire in the area at the time.

Bullets passed through the rear windshield of the car in which Abdel Aziz and al-Khatib were driving. Abdel Aziz died instantly of a bullet wound, or wounds, to the head, while al-Khatib died in a hospital the next day, also of head wounds.

Status of

According to press reports, the U.S. military commander in Iraq at the time, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, ordered an “urgent review” of the incident. On March 29, the U.S. military said it had completed its investigation and accepted responsibility for the deaths of the two journalists.

A statement posted on the Combined Joint Task Forces 7’s Web site expressed “regret” for the deaths and said the investigation determined that the incident was an “accidental shooting.” Press reports quoted U.S. military officials saying that the soldiers who had opened fire acted within the “rules of engagement.”

The military’s statement said the “investigation concluded that no soldiers fired intentionally” at the Al-Arabiya car. The military has said that the full investigative report is classified; CPJ has sought a copy of the report under the Freedom of Information Act.

8. Asaad Kadhim, Al-Iraqiya TV, April 19, 2004, near Samara

Kadhim, a correspondent for the U.S.-funded Al-Iraqiya TV, and his driver, Hussein Saleh, were killed by gunfire from U.S. forces near a checkpoint close to the Iraqi city of Samara, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. Cameraman Jassem Kamel was injured.

On April 20, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of operations for coalition forces in Iraq, confirmed that U.S. troops had killed the journalist and his driver. According to media reports, Kimmitt said that coalition forces at the checkpoint signaled the journalists to stop by firing several warning shots. When the vehicle ignored those shots, Kimmitt said, forces fired at the car.

The Associated Press reported that Kimmitt said there were signs in the area indicating that filming was banned at both the base and the checkpoint. According to the AP, Kimmitt said the signs were designed to prevent Iraqi insurgents from canvassing the area.

Cameraman Kamel told the AP that no warning shots had been fired at their vehicle.

Status of Investigation:

U.S. spokesman Dan Senor said Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official in Iraq at the time, “is fully committed to a thorough and robust investigation to determine exactly what happened here,” the AP reported. It is unclear whether an investigation was conducted and what its outcome was.

9. Mazen al-Tumeizi, Al-Arabiya, September 12, 2004, Baghdad

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.”

Status of

On September 24, 2004, CPJ wrote the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calling on him to “ensure that a comprehensive and transparent investigation is conducted, including an examination of whether this attack may have violated the principles of international law that prohibit the use of indiscriminate fire.” CPJ never received a reply to its letter and it is unclear whether an investigation was conducted.

10. Dhia Najim, freelance, November 1, 2004, Ramadi

Najim, an Iraqi freelance cameraman, was shot and killed in the western city of Ramadi, where he had been covering a gun battle between the U.S. military and Iraqi insurgents.

Najim, who worked for a number of news organizations, was on assignment for Reuters that day. He was shot in the back of the neck while working near his home in the Andalus District of Ramadi, 70 miles (112 kilometers) west of the capital, Baghdad, Reuters said.

“Video shot from an upper floor of a building nearby shows Najim, at first half-hidden by a wall, move into the open,” Reuters reported. “As soon as he emerges, a powerful gunshot cracks out and he falls to the ground, his arms outstretched. Civilians are seen gathering calmly at the scene immediately afterwards to look at his lifeless body.”

A November 2 statement from the 1st Marine Division of the I Marine Expeditionary Force said that U.S. forces “engaged several insurgents in a brief small arms firefight that killed an individual who was carrying a video camera.”

The statement went on to say, “Inspection of videotape in [Najim’s] camera revealed footage of previous attacks on Multi-National Force military vehicles that included the insurgent use of RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), an IED (roadside bomb) and small arms fire.” The statement also said that the insurgents who fought U.S. forces “fled the scene with their wounded but left the body of the dead man along the side of the road.”

On November 3, The New York Times reported that the Marine Corps had opened an investigation. “We did kill him,” an unnamed military official told The Times. “He was out with the bad guys. He was there with them, they attacked, and we fired back and hit him.”

Reuters rejected the military’s implication that Najim was working as part of an insurgent group. The agency reported that video footage showed no signs of fighting in the vicinity and noted that Najim had “filmed heavy clashes between Marines and insurgents earlier in the day but that fighting had subsided.”

Status of

On November 2, CPJ wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seeking an inquiry into the incident, but did not receive a reply. It is unclear whether an investigation was conducted, or what its outcome was. Reuters reported in August 2005 that “The exact circumstances of his killing have never been clarified despite requests from Reuters.”

11. Maha Ibrahim, Baghdad TV, June 25, 2005, Baghdad

Ibrahim, a news producer for the Iraqi television station Baghdad TV, was shot and killed by U.S. forces fire in Baghdad as she drove to work with her husband, who is also an employee of the station, Iraqi journalists and colleagues at Baghdad TV told CPJ. Staff at the Baghdad TV station said Ibrahim’s car was hit by what they described as random fire from U.S. troops who were attempting to disperse people from a road along which they were traveling. They said Ibrahim was wounded in the abdomen and that she died on arrival at a local hospital.

Ibrahim’s husband survived the shooting.

Baghdad TV is a local television station affiliated with the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Status of Investigation:

On June 29, 2005, CPJ called on U.S. military authorities to launch an immediate inquiry into the shooting death. It is unclear whether an investigation was conducted or what its outcome was.

12. Ahmed Wael Bakri, Al-Sharqiyah, June 28, 2005, Baghdad

Bakri, a director and news producer for the local television station, Al-Sharqiyah, was killed by gunfire as he approached U.S. troops, according to Ali Hanoon, a station director. Hanoon said Bakri was driving from work to his in-laws’ home in southern Baghdad at the time. U.S. soldiers fired at his car 15 times, and Bakri died later at Yarmouk Hospital, he said. The Associated Press, citing another colleague and a doctor who treated the journalist, reported that Bakri had failed to pull over for a U.S. convoy while trying to pass a traffic accident.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad issued a statement of condolence to the family and the station, the BBC reported. “We were deeply saddened and hurt by Mr. Wael al-Bakri’s death and as is the case with incidents of unintentional killing, the investigation is ongoing and we are trying our best to find out the details of the accident,” the statement said.

Status of

On June 29, 2005, CPJ called on U.S. military authorities to launch an immediate inquiry into the shooting death. It is unclear whether an investigation was conducted or what its outcome was.

13. Waleed Khaled, Reuters, August 28, 2005, Baghdad

Khaled, 35, a soundman for Reuters, was shot by U.S. forces several times in the face and chest as he drove with cameraman Haidar Kadhem to investigate a report of clashes between armed men and police in Baghdad’s Hay al-Adil district, Reuters reported.

Reuters quoted an Iraqi police report as saying: “A team from Reuters news agency was on assignment to cover the killing of two policemen in Hay al-Adil; U.S. forces opened fire on the team from Reuters and killed Waleed Khaled, who was shot in the head, and wounded Haider Kadhem.” Four days later the U.S. military confirmed its troops had killed Khaled.

Kadhem, the only known eyewitness, was wounded in the back and was detained by U.S. forces in the aftermath for three days. Before Kadhem was detained, he told reporters at the scene that he heard gunfire and saw a U.S. sniper on the roof of a nearby shopping center.

Status of Investigation:

On September 1, the U.S. military in Iraq announced that the unit involved in the shooting of Khaled had concluded its investigation and that troops’ response was “appropriate,” Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said that Khaled’s car “approached at a high rate of speed and then conducted activity that in itself was suspicious. There were individuals hanging outside with what looked to be a weapon. It stopped and immediately put itself in reverse. Again suspicious activity. Our soldiers on the scene used established rules of engagement and all the training received … (and they) decided that it was appropriate to engage that particular car. And as a result of that the driver was indeed killed and the passenger was hurt by shards of glass.”
An army spokesman told Reuters that the report was not formally completed and was not available for release.

2 Confirmed Cases of Media Workers Killed in Iraq by U.S. Forces’ Fire
(March 2003-August 2005)

1. Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, BBC, April 6, 2003, near Mosul

Muhamed, a translator working for the BBC, was killed in a case of “friendly fire” when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb on a convoy of Kurdish soldiers who were traveling near Mosul.

According to press reports, at least 18 people were killed, including members of U.S. Special Forces who were traveling with the convoy. Two BBC journalists, correspondent John Simpson and producer Tom Giles, were injured.

Status of

It is unclear whether an investigation was conducted into the incident.

2. Hussein Saleh, Al-Iraqiya TV, April 19, 2004, near Samara

A driver for the U.S.-funded Al-Iraqiya TV, Saleh was killed by gunfire from U.S. forces near a checkpoint close to the Iraqi city of Samara, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Baghdad. Correspondent Asaad Kadhim was killed and cameraman Jassem Kamel was injured.

Status of Investigation:

(See Asaad Kadhim, above)