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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
BBC defends Iraq blast footage
Grab of Sun website
The Sun story claims the MoD and relatives were upset by the footage

The BBC has defended a documentary which showed footage of an ambush on British troops in Iraq in which three of them were killed.

In the New Al-Qaeda, broadcast on BBC One on 25 July, a suicide bomber is seen driving a jeep up to a roadblock manned by British soldiers and then detonating a bomb.

The footage of the attack, in November 2004, was filmed by insurgents who were hiding nearby.

Three soldiers from Black Watch died in the attack - Sergeant Stuart Gray, 31, Private Paul Lowe, 19, and Private Scott McArdle, 22, all from Fife.

An Iraqi interpreter was also killed and eight other soldiers wounded.

'Avoiding distress'

The video of the moment of the explosion appeared very small on screen and was viewed from some distance.

The BBC claims this was done to avoid naming the regiment and to avoid distress to families and relatives.

However, three people called to complain about the footage and The Sun published a story on its website under the headline: 'Sick' BBC show bomb vid.

Peter Taylor
Series producer Peter Taylor said the video was acceptable to show

Its article claims that "programme makers ignored pleas from senior Army figures not to screen the shots for sake of the dead men's families".

In response the BBC said: "The programme does include a few seconds of footage of an ambush of British soldiers.

"We have been in communication with the MoD about this footage and have listened to their concerns and addressed them where possible.

"We take our responsibilities seriously and it has been very sensitively edited to avoid any distress to the victims' families or friends.

"We have not named the regiment and have taken a number of other steps to lessen any distress.

"A representative from the MoD was shown a few minutes of the footage relating to the incident.

"The sequence plays a key part in illustrating the availability of such material which is vital to the viewers understanding of the programme."

The spokesman added that the programme's producer, BBC reporter and terrorism expert Peter Taylor, challenged claims that the footage was too offensive to be shown.

Why BBC used 'abuse' photos
19 Jan 05 |  Notes



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