updated 4/8/2005 6:58:16 PM ET 2005-04-08T22:58:16

A cameraman carrying CBS press credentials was detained in Iraq earlier this week for "alleged insurgent activity, the U.S. military said Friday.

The CBS stringer suffered minor injuries Tuesday during a battle between U.S. soldiers and suspected insurgents, the military said. He was standing next to an alleged insurgent who was killed during the shootout, the statement said.

The military issued a statement then saying the cameraman was shot because his equipment was mistaken for a weapon.

'Probable cause'
But on Friday, the military said the cameraman was detained because there was probable cause to believe he posed “an imperative threat to coalition forces.”

U.S. military officials say the stringer had in his possession several videotapes of past insurgent attacks shot from "well positioned" locations — leading the military to believe the cameraman had advance knowledge of when and where attacks would take place.

“He is currently detained and will be processed as any other security detainee,” the statement said.

CBS News spokeswoman Leigh Farris said, “We’re looking into the situation.”

A spokesman for Task Force Freedom, Capt. Mark Walter, said the reporter suffered minor wounds and was with “a number of people” involved in the shootout.

Walter said the reporter was detained immediately after the incident, in part because of statements from witnesses to the battle.

Officials are investigating the man’s previous activities as well as “his alleged support of anti-Iraqi insurgency activities,” the statement said.

Al Arabiya cameraman detained
In related news, a cameraman for Dubai-based television station Al Arabiya has been detained for more than a week in Iraq, according to New York-based media watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The CPJ said in a statement late Wednesday that Iraqi forces had detained Wael Issam, a Palestinian cameraman on assignment for the station, at Baghdad International Airport March 28, according to Al Arabiya. Issam had been traveling to the station’s headquarters in Dubai.

It said Al Arabiya had been told by Iraqi authorities that they were holding Issam after seizing videotapes from him that depicted “armed groups.” It was not immediately clear whether any charges had been filed against him.

“CPJ fears that Issam has been detained simply for his work and expressed concern that Iraqi forces have held him for an extended period without disclosing their legal basis,” the CPJ statement said.

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