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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 October 2003, 21:55 GMT
In the line of fire
The wreckage of the media cars in the convoy
In the line of fire - with John Simpson was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 9 November, 2003 at 21:00 GMT.

When BBC world affairs editor John Simpson and his team set out to northern Iraq it was to report on the looming war against Saddam Hussein.

What none of them knew was that in only a few weeks time they would find themselves at the centre of the most lethal recorded friendly fire incident of the war.

While filming at a cross-roads in northern Iraq on April 6, 2003, a US Navy jet launched a bomb into a crowd of US and Kurdish soldiers who the BBC team were accompanying.

The bomb killed at least 16 people, including a member of the BBC team. 45 were injured.

In the seconds that followed, BBC cameraman Fred Scott began to film the disaster as it unfolded. He filmed the dead and the dying and the desperate moments in which friends, colleagues and comrades tried to find out who was alive and who was dead.

His remarkable footage - and the footage of others who were also at the scene - provide a unique insight into the horror of war.

This special edition of Panorama tells the story of the dramatic battle on the northern front of Iraq as seen through the eyes of the people who became caught up in it.

Using the personal testimony of the journalists themselves, US pilots flying missions at the time and others touched by events - it documents a remarkable confrontation in which lightly armed Kurds aided by a few US Special Forces and US jets faced down a massive Iraqi force of well-armed soldiers.

It also tells the story of what can happen when such a high-risk strategy goes wrong.

Production team:
Reporter: John Simpson
Producer: Tom Giles
Assistant Producers: Richard Grange, Sarah Mole
Deputy Editors: Andy Bell, Sam Collyns
Editor: Mike Robinson

Panorama man saved by phone call
09 Nov 03 |  Panorama
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07 Nov 03 |  Panorama

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