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April 8, 2003
 
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(AP Photo)
5 Journalists Injured in Baghdad Strike
At Least 5 Journalists Injured As U.S. Forces Fire on Palestine Hotel in Central Baghdad

The Associated Press


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BAGHDAD, Iraq April 8

At least five journalists were injured Tuesday when U.S. forces fired upon their hotel in central Baghdad. The Americans were seeking to retaliate against snipers they said were shooting at them from the hotel's roof.

The U.S. agreed later not to fire on the 18-story Palestine Hotel, where many members of the international media are staying to cover the war.

"We're taking a look at this," a U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Mark Kitchens, in Qatar, said in an interview with Sky News. "Coalition forces are doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. As soon as we know more we'll put it out there."

Abu Dhabi television showed damage next to a balcony that appeared to have been caused by a tank shell or a rocket.

Journalists fled to the courtyard, and American troops said reporters should hang white sheets out the window of their rooms. U.S. troops said they were taking fire from snipers in the hotel and could see men on the roof with binoculars surveying their positions.

A spokeswoman for the Reuters news agency said four staff members were injured a reporter, photographer, cameraman and technician. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known, and they were taken to hospital.

Spanish television network Telecinco said its cameraman, Jose Couso, in Baghdad was wounded in the leg and jaw.

Earlier Tuesday, a correspondent for the Al-Jazeera television network was killed when its Baghdad office was hit during a U.S. bombing campaign that some employees claimed say may have been deliberate.

Al-Jazeera television showed two people being rushed out of the Palestine Hotel, carried on blankets through the lobby of the hotel and put into cars that took off, apparently for hospital.

Frightened reporters in flak vests could be seen running from the hotel while their colleagues carried the wounded to the lobby.

In the earlier strike on Al-Jazeera, the network's Tareq Ayoub died after suffering serious wounds, the network announced. The office was almost destroyed by two missiles and another cameraman was injured, Al-Jazeera said.

The Abu Dhabi TV office in Baghdad was also targeted by U.S. bombing, the station reported. Officials at Abu Dhabi TV were not available for comment.


photo credit and caption:
Impacts of a U.S. tank shell are seen on the Palestine hotel in Baghdad, Tuesday, April 8, 2003. The Palestine hotel took fire Tuesday after U.S. troops said snipers were shooting at them from the building. At least five journalists were injured, as earlier Tuesday a correspondent for the Al-Jazeera television network was killed when its Baghdad office was hit during a U.S. bombing campaign. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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