Monday, September 13, 2004

al-Arabiya reporter killed by US-led forces -- 33 killed so far 9-12-04

IRAQ: Al-Arabiya reporter killed, two other journalists wounded in Baghdad fighting
Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, September 12, 2004-A reporter for Al-Arabiya television was killedand two other journalists were wounded today after a U.S. helicopter firedmissiles and machine guns to destroy a disabled American vehicle,international news reports said.

Mazen al-Tumeizi, who was taping a report today during some the heaviest fighting in the capital in weeks, became the 33rd journalist killed in Iraq by Iraqi forces, armed groups, and U.S. troops since hostilities began inMarch 2003.

At least 25 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 injured in thecapital today, according to news reports.Fighting broke out on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad around dawn,when a U.S. Bradley armored vehicle caught fire and its four crew memberswere evacuated with minor injuries, according to news reports. As a crowdgathered, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire.

Video aired by al-Arabiya showed al-Tumeizi was preparing a report nearbywhen an explosion behind him caused him to double over and scream, "I'mdying, I'm dying." He died moments later, the Dubai-based station reported.Two other journalists were reported wounded in the helicopterstrike.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.

Reuters quoted a statement it said was issued later by the military, which offered a different account.

"As the helicopters flew over the burningBradley they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of thevehicle," the statement said. "Clearly within the rules of engagement, thehelicopters returned fire destroying some anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinityof the Bradley."

Seif Fouad, a camera operator for Reuters Television was hospitalized after being wounded in the attack, the news agency said, but the precise nature ofhis injuries was not immediately disclosed.Ghaith Abdul Ahad, a freelancephotographer working for Getty Images, suffered head wounds while coveringthe clashes and the helicopter attack, the AP reported.A militant group linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it carried out thecampaign of violence in Baghdad today.



Hani SabraResearcherMiddle East and North AfricaCommittee to Protect Journalists330 Seventh Avenue12th FloorNew York, NY 10001Tel: (212) 465-1004, x-104Fax: (212) 465-9568Web: