Journalists’ whereabouts unknown | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Journalists’ whereabouts unknown

PARIS (AP)

A journalists’ watchdog group Wednesday asked U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, the top commander in Iraq, to order an investigation into the death of a British reporter in the war and the disappearance of his two colleagues.

The British television news network ITN has said it believes its reporter Terry Lloyd was killed Saturday by “friendly fire” from British or American soldiers en route to the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

The whereabouts of Lloyd’s colleagues, cameraman Fred Nerac, 43, of France, and Hussein Osman, of Lebanon, are unknown.

Reporters Without Borders quoted another ITN cameraman wounded in the incident as saying ITN’s two jeeps came under fire from coalition tanks as they turned back to avoid Iraqi forces.

“They had probably been aiming at the Iraqis, although I am sure the Iraqis were trying to surrender,” said cameraman Daniel Demoustier.

France has said it was trying to learn Nerac’s fate from non-governmental organizations in Iraq and Iraqi interests in Paris.

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After seven days of fighting, two journalists have been reported killed, two reported missing and at least two others wounded, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said. Four journalists were killed during the 1991 Gulf war, it said.

On Wednesday, Newsday Editor Tony Marro said two of that newspaper’s journalists on assignment in Baghdad have not been heard from since Monday. He said he was investigating reports the photographer and reporter were being expelled from Iraq.

Marro said that reporter Matt McAllester and photographer Moises Saman were last in contact with editors Monday afternoon — Monday night in Iraq — when they e-mailed to say they would be filing material. The staffers had been in regular contact with the newspaper, getting in touch at least twice a day.

“We didn’t hear from them Monday night, we didn’t hear from them overnight … We started trying to get in touch with other reporters,” Marro said.

Freelance photojournalist Molly Bingham had not been heard from since the beginning of the week.

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