Ammar Awad  /  Reuters
News correspondent Ali Khatib of Arabic satellite news channel Al-Arabiya, seen in an ambulance in Baghdad, died Friday, a day after he was wounded in a shooting incident with U.S. forces, which also killed his colleague, cameraman Ali Abdulaziz.
updated 3/19/2004 7:29:20 AM ET 2004-03-19T12:29:20

A reporter for Arab satellite television station Al-Arabiya died from his wounds Friday after U.S. soldiers shot him hours earlier along with a cameraman, who died at the scene. The death brought to five the number of journalists killed in Iraq in less than 24 hours.

The U.S. military said it had no information on the shootings of the correspondents late Thursday. But it reported the shooting death of an Iraqi at a checkpoint, and the time and place of that death matched details reported by Al-Arabiya about the incident involving its Iraqi staffers.

The all-news station's correspondent Ali al-Khatib died in Baghdad Nerves Surgery Hospital early Friday morning, said Mohammed Ibrahim, the station's editing supervisor in Baghdad.

Both he and the slain cameraman, Ali Abdel-Aziz, were covering a nighttime rocket attack on Burj al-Hayat hotel in the capital.

"There were a lot of cars in the area. One of them rammed an American Bradley fighting vehicle. American soldiers fired at random, killing Ali Abdel-Aziz and critically wounding Ali al-Khatib," said Mohammed Ibrahim, the station's editing supervisor in Baghdad.

He said both men were filming outside their car at the time, and were shot in the head. The victims were running away because they thought the car that rammed the military vehicle was a suicide bomber, Ibrahim said.

Three other staffers for Al-Arabiya, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, who were at the scene were unhurt, Ibrahim said.

Cpl. Craig Stowell, a U.S. military spokesman, said "one Iraqi was shot and killed when he tried to run a checkpoint near Burj al-Hayat hotel at 22:16."

Stowell had no further details.

Al-Arabiya called for an immediate investigation into the incident.

Arab journalists protest shooting deaths
On Friday, Arab journalists walked out of a news conference held by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a protest against the shooting deaths of the Iraqi reporters.

One Arab journalist stood up as soon as Powell walked into the room at the Baghdad convention center and read a statement saying that after one year of "U.S. occupation," Americans cannot provide security in Iraq.

“We demand an open investigation in front of the mass media," the Arab journalist said. "We also demand that security be guaranteed to journalists" working in Iraq, he said.

Seconds later, more than 20 journalists walked out of the room.

Powell said he regretted "any loss of life, journalists, coalition soldiers, missionaries, average Iraqi citizens going about their daily lives."

Gunmen kill 3 Iraqi journalists
Earlier Thursday, gunmen shot and killed three Iraqi journalists and wounded nine other employees of a coalition-funded television station in northeastern Iraq, police said.

The attack in the city of Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, occurred when attackers in a car opened fire on a minibus that the journalists were riding in, said Sanaa al-Daghistani, information director of Diyala TV. All the victims were employees of Diyala.

Police Capt. Mohammed Hadi identified the slain victims as Mohammed Farhan, Majeed Rashid and Nadia Shawkat.

Rebels often target Iraqis perceived as collaborators with the U.S.-led coalition that is governing Iraq. Guerrilla attacks on U.S. military patrols in the Baqouba area are frequent.

New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "shocked and saddened by the deaths of our colleagues and are actively seeking more information" on the shooting in Baghdad and Baqouba.

"On the anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, we are reminded of how dangerous a place Iraq remains for the media," said CPJ senior program coordinator Joel Campagna.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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