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Last Updated:  Sunday, 30 March, 2003, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Channel 4 reporter dies in Iraq
Gaby Rado
Gaby Rado fiercely opposed any 'dumbing down' of news
Channel 4 foreign affairs correspondent Gaby Rado has been found dead while reporting from Iraq.

ITN, producers of Channel 4 News, said that there appears to be no direct connection with any military action.

It is believed that he fell from the roof of the Abu Sanaa hotel at Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, into the car park below where his body was found.

The Budapest-born journalist joined ITN in 1985 as a writer before moving to Channel 4 News as a reporter in 1988.

His death is a tragedy for his family, friends and colleagues across the different newsrooms within ITN
Stewart Purvis, ITN chief executive

He was 48, met his current wife, Dessa, while on assignment in Serbia, and had two children by his first wife, Carol Rado.

An ITN statement says that between 0820 and 0830 local time on Sunday, the hotel car park's security guard reported that somebody had fallen from the hotel roof.

Rado was found with serious head injuries in the hotel car park and received immediate first aid at the scene before being taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The body is currently at the Forensic Hospital in Sulaymaniyah and local police are conducting an inquiry.

ITN says police have found an eyewitness who saw the journalist walking up to the hotel roof alone but did not see what happened next.

Sulaymaniyah is a major town in the Kurdish controlled area of northern Iraq and Rado had been reporting in recent weeks for Channel 4 News on the activities of the Kurdish fighters and coalition troops in the area.

Front line close by

The front line is more than 50 miles west of Sulaymaniyah and there have been no reports of fighting in the town.

Stewart Purvis, ITN chief executive and editor-in-chief, added: "Gaby Rado was one of the great practitioners of the intelligent, probing and sometimes sceptical journalism which is the hallmark of Channel Four News.

"His death is a tragedy for his family, friends and colleagues across the different newsrooms within ITN."

Channel 4 chief executive Mark Thompson said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Gaby's death. We are very concerned for his family and friends at this point".

Earlier this month fellow ITN journalist Terry Lloyd was killed in Iraq by 'friendly fire' from Allied forces.

Mr Lloyd was the station's longest-serving reporter and the first to be killed on assignment in ITN's 48-year history.

He was one of the "unilateral" reporters, travelling freely around the war zone, as opposed to the pool reporters "embedded" in a military unit.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Pia Harold
"Mr Rado is the second ITN reporter to have died since the war began in Iraq"



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