Baghdad, Aug. 18 (Reuters): US army engineers battled a blaze today on Iraq’s main oil export pipeline — a crucial lifeline for the floundering economy — after two attacks by saboteurs last week set it on fire.
In Baghdad, the US military said it was investigating the death of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, shot dead by an American soldier yesterday as he filmed outside a prison. He was the 18th journalist killed since the invasion of Iraq on March 20. The US military acknowledged that one of its soldiers had killed Dana, saying the journalist’s camera had been mistaken for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Dana was the second Reuters journalist to be killed by US troops in Iraq.
“Last night we had a terrible tragedy,” US army spokesperson Colonel Guy Shields said. “I can assure you no one feels worse than the soldier who fired the shots.”
Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer called for “the fullest and most comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy”. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) in Paris also urged US authorities to conduct a full inquiry.
World media bodies demanded a public inquiry today into the killing of the cameraman, the second journalist from the international news agency to be killed in Iraq in four months.
A Danish soldier was also killed over the weekend when his patrol tried to arrest looters who were stealing copper power cables west of the southern city of Basra. A military spokesperson said it was possible the soldier had been killed by accident by another member of the patrol.