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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 July, 2003, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
UK journalist killed in Iraq named
Richard Wild
Richard Wild had been in Iraq less than a fortnight
A British freelance journalist has been shot dead in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Richard Wild was shot by an unknown assailant outside the Iraqi National Museum on Saturday.

His family were notified in Britain after his body had been identified by a fellow journalist, the Foreign Office said.

An investigation had begun into the death, which brings the total of journalists killed in Iraq since the war began to 15.

Mr Wild, 24, was working as a freelance journalist and had spent six months in the London office of ITN as a picture researcher.

Richard's father Robin said the family had tried to persuade him not to go to Iraq before he set off 12 days ago.

"The whole family tried their utmost to stop him going.

The Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad
The shooting happened outside the Iraqi National Museum
"It was something entirely voluntary that he was doing and we simply felt there was no need for him to go."

Mr Wild thought his son may have been mistaken for an American and consequently paid the price for local hostility towards US troops.

"He was very tall and fair-haired and fairly self-confident, and local people may have thought that he was an American," he said.

"Because there is a certain antipathy to the Americans in Baghdad, we can only think that he probably took his share of that antipathy and became a target.

"At the moment, we are not aware of the details of what happened."

Richard Wild's mother Daphne, 62, said: "We tried to stop him, you know, but he felt that he had to go."

Iraqis killed

Mr Wild grew up near Melrose, Roxburghshire. After school he became a Lieutenant in the King's Regiment for a year, then went to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read history, and did an MPhil in medieval history.

ITN chief executive Stewart Purvis said the channel was shocked and saddened to hear of the reported killing.

"In the six months that Richard worked at ITN, he was regarded as a dedicated and popular member of the newsroom team, particularly as he tracked all the material coming into ITN during the Iraq war."

Hours after the killing an American soldier was critically injured when he was shot in the head at close range while chatting to students at Baghdad University.

Earlier on Saturday, at least seven Iraqis were killed and more than 50 were injured in an explosion near a police station in the town of Ramadi 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad.

Reports say the victims were new police recruits who had just finished training with US troops in Ramadi, about 60 miles west of Baghdad.

Still missing

Fifteen journalists - three of them British - have died in Iraq since the war began.

ITN broadcaster Terry Lloyd was killed on 22 March in a "friendly fire" incident just a few days after the start of the war.

His two colleagues, French cameraman Fred Nerac and Lebanese translator and driver Hussein Osman are still both missing, presumed dead.

Eight days later another British journalist, Gaby Rado, was found dead while reporting in Iraq.

The 48-year-old Channel 4 foreign affairs correspondent is believed to have fallen from the roof of the Abu Sanaa hotel at Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq.

And Kaveh Golestan, an Iranian cameraman working for BBC, was killed by landmine on 2 April, near Kifri in northern Iraq.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Galpin in Baghdad
"Freelancers will not have the same security infrastructure around them"



SEE ALSO:
Briton killed in Iraq
06 Jul 03  |  UK
Blast outside Iraqi police station
05 Jul 03  |  Middle East
BBC cameraman's last moments
05 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Inquiry into fate of ITN man
04 Jun 03  |  Politics


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