Eason Jordan’s Analysis Confirmed Again

From Holden:

US forces in Iraq just can’t stop shooting journalists.

“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,” an Interior Ministry official quoted the police incident report as saying.

“I heard shooting, looked up and saw an American sniper on the roof of the shopping centre,” cameraman Kadhem, who was wounded in the back, told colleagues who arrived at the scene.

The only known eyewitness, he was later detained by U.S. troops and was still in custody six hours later despite Reuters’ requests that he be freed to receive medical attention. His precise whereabouts were not clear.

Two Iraqi colleagues who arrived on the scene minutes after the shooting were also briefly detained, then released.

“They treated us like dogs. They made us, … including Khaled who was wounded and asking for water, sit in the sun on the road,” Reuters Television soundman Mohammed Idriss said.

[snip]

Reuters correspondent Michael Georgy, who arrived at the scene about an hour after the shooting, said the soundman’s body was still in the driver’s seat, the face covered by a cloth.

Entry and exit wounds could be seen on the face indicating shots from the victim’s right. There were several bullet holes in the windscreen and at least four wounds in the chest.

His U.S. military and Reuters press cards, clipped to his shirt, were caked in blood. In one, there were two bullet holes.

To the right of the scene, a U.S. soldier, apparently a sniper, was posted on the roof of a shopping centre.

A British security adviser working for Reuters said it seemed likely that high-velocity rounds had been fired at the car from roughly the direction of that building.

[snip]

As Waleed’s tearful relatives inspected the body at the scene, a U.S. soldier said: “Don’t bother. It’s not worth it.”

A few other soldiers joked among themselves just a few feet (metres) from the body.

An update.

Reuters demanded the immediate release on Monday of an Iraqi cameraman who was still being held by U.S. forces more than 24 hours after being wounded in an incident in which his soundman was killed.

[snip]

The U.S. military said it was still investigating and refused to say what questions it was putting to cameraman Haider Kadhem. It would not say where in Baghdad he was held nor identify the unit holding him.

[snup]

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based media rights group, called the shooting “extremely disturbing” and said the Reuters soundman was the 66th journalist or media assistant killed in Iraq since the invasion of 2003, three more than died in 20 years in Vietnam.

“Our outrage is compounded by the fact that they arrested Kadhem, the only eyewitness, who was himself injured,” it said.