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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 02:34 GMT 03:34 UK
Cameraman shot dead in Iraq
Mazan Dana
Dana was an experienced conflict journalist
The Pentagon has confirmed that US troops have shot and killed a cameraman working for Reuters news agency in Iraq.

The shooting happened at Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, where six Iraqis were killed in a mortar attack late on Saturday.

The US military said that soldiers had mistaken Mazen Dana's camera for a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

The 43-year-old Palestinian was described by Reuters as one of its finest cameramen.

His death brings to 19 the number of journalists and their assistants who have died in Iraq or have gone missing since the conflict began.

Two shots

The incident took place in daylight on Sunday afternoon.

Mazen Dana's last pictures show a US tank driving towards him outside the prison walls.

Several shots ring out from the tank and the camera falls to the ground.

His sound engineer, Nael al-Shyoukhi, said that the pair had spoken to a US soldier near the prison shortly before the shooting.

"They saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission," he said.

Two shots were fired from a US tank.

Mr al-Shyoukhi said that the cameraman was hit in the chest. He was taken to a US military hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.


Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ken McClellan said that it "was not apparent in the beginning that it was a reporter".

"Obviously this coalition is not in the business of targeting reporters ... if he was shot there was something mistaking his identity," said the spokesman.

Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer said he hoped there would be "the fullest and most comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy".

Dana was married with four children, and won an International Press Freedom Award in 2001 from the Committee to Protect Journalists for his work in the West Bank town of Hebron.

He is the second Reuters cameraman to be killed since US-led troops invaded Iraq.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad
"The military says it mistook his camera for a weapon"

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