Reporter wounded saving colleagues

Michael WeisskopfTime Magazine via Reuters file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Time magazine reporter suffered severe shrapnel wounds and lost his hand when he tried to throw away a grenade tossed into a Humvee he was riding in with a Time photographer and two U.S. soldiers, colleagues said Thursday.

Time senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf and contributing photographer James Nachtwey were traveling with a U.S. Army patrol in Baghdad Wednesday night when the attack occurred, a statement from Time managing editor Jim Kelly said.

The soldiers also were wounded, the U.S. military said, but gave no further information.

Time would not offer details on the incident. But a memo sent to Weisskopf’s former colleagues at The Washington Post said he picked up the grenade and tossed it out of the Humvee. It exploded, blowing off his hand and wounding him in the chest and arms. The memo said Nachtwey received shrapnel wounds that were not as serious.

“According to people he works with at Time, he picked up the grenade and tossed it out, losing his right hand in the process while saving four lives,” the memo said.

A military spokesman said they were with a unit of the Army’s 1st Armored Division.

The military official, who spoke only condition of anonymity, said one of the journalists was severely wounded and the other was slightly injured, but would not say which. Time said both were in stable condition and were awaiting transfer to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

Eager to return home
The memo said Weisskopf’s wife, Judith, had spoken with him and he was eager to return home. He was to return to Washington within a few days, the memo said.

Award-winning photographer James Nachtwey, shown in this photo released by Time magazine on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003, was wounded along with Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf and two U.S. soldiers when a grenade was tossed into their Humvee, the military and the magazine said Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003. Nachtwey and Weisskopf were traveling with a U.S. Army patrol in Baghdad on Wednesday night when the attack occurred, a statement from Time managing editor Jim Kelley said.

Nachtwey is an award-winning photographer known for haunting images of war and poverty. He was the subject of a 2001 Oscar-nominated documentary, “War Photographer,” and has won many awards. This year he shared a $1 million Dan David prize for documenting “the apocalyptic events of our time.”

Weisskopf is an award-winning correspondent based in Washington. He covers national politics and investigations and was a finalist in the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers has said that at least 16 journalists have been killed in Iraq this year. Many others have been wounded.

In the last known incident, police said the editor of an independent newspaper in the northern city of Mosul was shot and killed on Oct. 28.