Thursday, September 01, 2005

US confirms its troops killed Reuters journalist in Iraq

The U.S. military confirmed on Thursday that its soldiers killed a Reuters journalist in Iraq but said their action was 'appropriate'.

Describing Sunday's incident, when television soundman Waleed Khaled was killed by multiple shots, Major General Rick Lynch said: 'That car approached at a high rate of speed and then conducted activity that in itself was suspicious. There were individuals hanging outside with what looked to be a weapon. 'It stopped and immediately put itself in reverse.

Again suspicious activity. Our soldiers on the scene used established rules of engagement and all the training received ... decided that it was appropriate to engage that particular car. 'And as a result of that the driver was indeed killed and the passenger was hurt by shards of glass.' Reuters cameraman Haider Kadhem, 24, like Waleed an Iraqi, was slightly wounded by flying fragments but survived in the passenger seat of the car, only to be detained for the next three days by U.S. troops. Kadhem was using a small video camera.

Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger rejected any suggestion that the killing of Waleed was justified."

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