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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Calls for Reuters death inquiry
Mazen Dana
Dana was an experienced conflict journalist
International media rights bodies have called on the US to launch a full inquiry into the killing of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, who was shot dead by US troops in Iraq.

The calls by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders, RSF) in Paris follow that of Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer who called for "the fullest and most comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy".

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.

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.

There have been many mistakes... by the US military during the war
Severine Cazes
Reporters Sans Frontieres
"In the midst of frequent violence, and often under attack himself, Mazen was a calm but determined witness who took constant risks in order to tell the world the news from the West Bank - and, more recently, from Iraq," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper.

The CPJ statement calling for the inquiry also said there should be a public accounting of the circumstances.

"We are shocked and extremely disturbed by this new death," Severine Cazes of RSF told CNN television.

"There have been many mistakes... by the US military during the war," she said, adding RSF would be writing to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday to seek a fuller investigation than those inquiries made into previous incidents in Iraq.

"It's disappointing to see that a country which is a big democracy, which respects freedom of the press and which is waging a war in the name of those values is not able to do proper investigations."

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.

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

In April, Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian based in Warsaw, died when a US tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, the base for many foreign media in Baghdad.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley
"Unfortunately, the killing of the cameraman was not a one-off"

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