Tuesday, September 14, 2004


A television journalist was shot dead as he made a live broadcast from Baghdad yesterday when United States helicopters fired on a crowd that had gathered round the burning wreckage of an American armoured vehicle.

Mazen al-Tumeizi, a Palestinian working for Al-Arabiya, one of the main Arab satellite television channels, was among 12 people - all believed to be civilians - killed in the incident on Haifa Street...

Tumeizi was describing the incident on camera when two helicopter gunships were seen flying down the street and opening fire. Tumeizi was hit by a bullet and doubled over, shouting: I'm dying, I'm dying." About 50 people were wounded...

Through the day, United States officers offered contradictory accounts of the incident and ordered an investigation.

"As the helicopters flew over the burning Bradley they received small arms fire from the insurgents in the vicinity of the vehicle," said Major Philip Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. "Clearly within the rules of engagement, the helicopters returned fire..."

However, witnesses said there were no Iraqi fighters in the area at the time.
Click to see the picture, subtitled "An Iraqi boy joins the celebration around the burning US vehicle."


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