KUWAIT CITY, March 22 (UPI) — An Australian journalist was killed, and several British journalists disappeared Saturday while covering the escalating hostilities in Iraq.
Free-lance Australian cameraman Paul Moran was killed in an apparent suicide bombing when a man detonated a car at a checkpoint in northeastern Iraq, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. ABC TV said its correspondent Eric Campbell was wounded in the incident.
Campbell said Moran had gone ahead of him to do some filming. He told ABC TV, Moran was filming the final shots for their story, when around 3 p.m. local time, a taxi sped up alongside him and exploded. Moran, 39, is survived by his wife and baby daughter.
Both men were among a number of foreign journalists who had been standing outside a checkpoint on the edge of Gerdigo, a town in Northern Iraq near Halabja, interviewing people who were leaving the town in the wake of a U.S. cruise missile attack that began Friday and continued until early Saturday.
U.S. forces were targeting strongholds in the region of Ansar Al-Islam, a group the United States designates as a terrorist organization. The area where the journalists were conducting interviews was reportedly under control of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a rival of Ansar Al-Islam that had just taken over the area.
Three journalists of an ITV News crew were reported missing Saturday and could have been wounded in crossfire from coalition forces while driving to the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The journalists were not embedded with military forces.
Correspondent Terry Lloyd, cameraman Fred Nerac, translator Hussein Othman and cameraman Daniel Demoustier were driving Saturday in two marked press vehicles in the city of Iman Anas when they came under fire, according to ITN.
Demoustier, who was wounded in the incident, was able to get to safety after a “Mail on Sunday” reporter Barbara Jones rescued him, SKY News reported.
“Heavy gunfire started towards my car from the right hand side and I had to duck down straight away,” said Demoustier in an interview with ITV News. “A split second and I looked right and the right door where my correspondent (Lloyd) was and it was open and he was not there anymore.”
Copyright 2003 by United Press International. All rights reserved.