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April 7, 2003
 
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Journalists Killed, Abducted in Iraq
Two Journalists Are Killed in Iraq; Two Other Reporters Are Abducted by Armed Men

The Associated Press


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Two journalists and two soldiers were killed Monday in an Iraqi rocket attack on the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division south of Baghdad, U.S. Central Command said. Fifteen soldiers were also wounded.

Spaniard Julio Anguita Parrado, 32, of the newspaper El Mundo, was killed when the missile struck south of the Iraqi capital, according to his newspaper and the Spanish Defense Ministry. Anguita Parrado was the son of Julio Anguita, former leader of Spain's leftist Izquierda Unida coalition.

The second dead journalist was identified as Christian Liebig, 35, who was covering the war for the German news weekly Focus. He had been with the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division since the war began, moving with it from Kuwait to the outskirts of Baghdad.

"We are shattered and deeply saddened," said Focus' editor in chief, Helmut Markwort.

Liebig also was a former editor on the international news desk of The Associated Press German language service.

The deaths brought to eight the number of foreign journalists who have died while in Iraq to cover the war.

Also Monday, armed Iraqis abducted two Polish journalists at a checkpoint near the Iraqi town of Hillah, about 80 miles south of Baghdad, their editor said.

Marcin Firlej, 27, a reporter for the private TVN24 news channel, and 31-year-old Jacek Kaczmarek, with Polish state radio, were traveling from the town of Nasiriyah with a larger group of journalists when they were seized, TVN24 editor Malgorzata Laszcz said.

TVN24 reporter Marcin Woroch, who was in another car in the same convoy, described their abductors as "five or six armed men, some still in military uniforms, some in black," in a report aired on his channel.

Among the journalists who have died while covering the war are Americans David Bloom of NBC News and Michael Kelly, editor at large for The Atlantic Monthly and a columnist for The Washington Post. Kelly was killed Thursday along with a U.S. soldier when their Humvee plunged into a canal; Bloom died Sunday from an apparent blood clot.

The others are Kaveh Golestan, an Iranian free-lance cameraman for the BBC, Gaby Rado of Britain's Channel 4 News, Terry Lloyd of Independent Television News in Britain, and Paul Moran of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Two other Independent Television News journalists, cameraman Fred Nerac of France and Hussein Osman of Lebanon, are missing in Iraq.

Liebig was one of the few German journalists who were traveling with the U.S. troops. He detailed the daily trials and joys of life with the troops, from surviving a sandstorm to the first hot meal in days.

Yet his reporting often focused on the frustrations and even apathy of some soldiers he accompanied. Hours before the brigade approached Saddam's Republican Guards on March 26, Liebig quoted one private comparing the war in Iraq with Vietnam.

Liebig began his career in 1995 as an intern for the German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur in Zagreb, Croatia. He joined The Associated Press the following year as an editor on the foreign desk of its German-language news service, where colleagues recalled his thoroughness and attention to detail. He joined Focus in 1999.

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

 
 
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