Wednesday, March 30, 2005

US admits killing Arab journalists in Iraq

The US military has acknowledged it was responsible for killing two journalists working for Dubai-based satellite channel al-Arabiya who were shot close to a checkpoint in the Iraqi capital earlier this month.

Al-Arabiya cameraman Ali Abd al-Aziz died on 18 March from a gunshot wound to the head. Correspondent Ali al-Khatib died from his wounds in hospital the next day. Both were Iraqis.

Colleagues said US troops fired on their car near a checkpoint in central Baghdad. The US military initially said it was unlikely its bullets had killed them.

On Monday, a US military official said an investigation into the deaths showed troops were responsible, but had acted "within the rules of engagement".

US soldiers were aiming at a different car, a white Volvo that had driven through the checkpoint at high speed, the investigation said. Al-Arabiya's grey Kia car was 50m to 150m down the road, trying to turn when it was accidentally hit, the military said.

OK, got that? Our boys were aiming at car A, and two people in car B, roughly a football field away, but who just happened to be Arab journalists, got hit. In the head.

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.


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