GERDIGO, Iraq March 22 —
An apparent car bomb killed at least five people, including an
Australian cameraman, at a checkpoint Saturday near a camp of the
al-Qaida-linked militant group Ansar al-Islam. At least eight people
The bombing came after Ansar al-Islam's base in northeastern Iraq
was struck overnight by U.S. cruise missiles. The group has carried
out car bombings in the past in fighting with Kurdish militias.
The journalist's death along with the wounding and disappearance
of several other journalists in southern Iraq prompted the Pentagon
to urge media not positioned with U.S. military units to "exercise
restraint" while covering the fighting.
Britain's ITN television news reported Saturday that three
members of an ITN news crew were missing after coming under fire en
route to Basra in southern Iraq.
The missing men were identified as reporter Terry Lloyd,
cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman.
Another cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, was injured as the crew
drove toward Basra in two vehicles. ITN said in London that
Demoustier was not able to see what happened to his colleagues.
"I was overtaken by one of the Iraqi vehicles. They gave me a
thumbs up, then all of a sudden we were fired on from the right-hand
side," he said. "I ducked down in my seat and kept driving. I looked
to the right and correspondent Terry Lloyd was gone."
At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Victoria Clarke warned that
journalists who were not among the hundreds embedded with U.S.
military units could get caught in the middle of the fighting.
"We ask all news organizations to exercise restraint," she told
journalists. "Combat operations are moving in a fast and
unpredictable fashion. The coalition forces will, of course,
exercise extreme care whenever there are noncombatants. However,
reporters who get between coalition and Iraqi forces put themselves
at extreme risk."
The journalist killed in the north was Paul Moran, 39, a
freelance cameraman with the Australian Broadcasting Corp., the ABC
said in a statement.
Eric Campbell, a correspondent for the Australian network, had
minor shrapnel injuries, the statement said.
Journalists had gone to the checkpoint near the village of
Gerdigo to interview refugees streaming out of the area hit by
cruise missiles. One of the cars coming out with the refugees
exploded, according to an account pieced together from witnesses and
Another civilian and three Peshmergas, or Kurdish soldiers, also
were killed. None of their identities were made known immediately.
The shattered remains of a car were scattered around the
The area is part of the Kurdish-controlled enclave protected from
Saddam Hussein's forces by U.S. and British aircraft that patrol a
no-fly zone over northern Iraq. The Ansar al-Islam camp, however, is
outside the control of Kurdish forces.
After U.S. forces fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at suspected
positions of the Ansar al-Islam guerrillas, hundreds of people fled
Khurmal, which lies about six miles south of the checkpoint and
eight miles from the Iranian border.
"I am afraid of another barrage of missiles coming at us," said
Mohammed Rahman, 17, as he walked away from Khurmal with his
cousins, carrying a bag with clothing in it.
"We're living an abnormal life, we're living in endless fear and
war," said Rangi Said, 18 who carried a basket with food.
The Paris-based media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders
said in a statement that Saturday's car bombing appeared to be
targeting journalists. The statement cited a photographer at the
Moran, who was based in Paris, had worked extensively in the
Middle East. He is survived by his wife and baby daughter, the
Australian Broadcasting Corp. Web site said.
|British TV reporter Terry Lloyd,
shown in this 1998 file photo is missing with his colleagues
Fred Nerac and Hussein Othman after they came under fire while
travelling to Basra in Iraq, Britains ITN television news
reported Saturday March 22, 2003. (AP Photo/ David Jones,
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or