Australian journalist killed

others missing in Iraq

Military says reporters attacked by Iraqi forces weren't with U.S. troops

War in Iraq

March 23, 2003|By Todd Richissin | Todd Richissin,SUN FOREIGN STAFF

KUWAIT CITY - An Australian cameraman was killed covering the war in Iraq yesterday and at least six other journalists were missing or hiding from Iraqi soldiers and seeking rescue by Marines, according to military officials and news organizations.

The cameraman was killed by an apparent car bomb at a checkpoint near a camp of the militant group Ansar al-Islam in northern Iraq. At least eight other people there were injured.

The journalist was Paul Moran, 39, a free-lance cameraman with the Australian Broadcasting Corp., the network said in a statement.

In southern Iraq, three journalists who worked for Britain's ITV News network were missing after coming under fire en route to Basra, ITV reported.

The missing men were identified as reporter Terry Lloyd, cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman. Another cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, who was traveling in another vehicle, was injured and unable to see what happened to his colleagues.

Farther north, near the town of Nasiriyah, a magazine reporter and three photographers who became separated from a column of U.S. tanks were fired on by Iraqi troops. The journalists were riding in two cars when they were confronted by troops and tried to turn and flee.

One car, driven by the reporter, crashed after being hit by bullets. The fate of the reporter was unknown. The car with the three photographers was also struck by bullets. The photographers managed to run into a field, called a U.S. military official on a cellular phone and were hiding last night awaiting rescue.

Neither the journalists nor their organizations have been identified.

In the southern Iraq port city of Umm Qasr, 24 journalists were fired on but not injured, a U.S. military spokesman said.

Col. Guy Shields, spokesman for the allied forces in Kuwait City, said none of the reporters killed, injured or missing were with troops. They had reached Iraq either by passing through checkpoints or circumventing them by driving through the desert.

Wire reports contributed to this article.

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