- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

KUWAIT CITY One journalist was killed in northern Iraq yesterday, and three others died in the south of the country after crossing into Iraq in defiance of coalition forces' efforts to control the battlefield.
At least one other journalist was injured, and several called for help after coming under fire in southern Iraq. Three French journalists were said to have been captured by Iraqi forces.
None of the journalists was participating in the Pentagon's program for "embedding" reporters with military units.
The incidents prompted the Pentagon to issue a statement calling for restraint by news organizations. "Reporters who get between coalition and Iraqi forces put themselves at extreme risk," spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said.
Australian cameraman Paul Moran, 39, was one of five persons killed when a car exploded at a checkpoint in northern Iraq near a camp of the al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al-Islam, wire services reported.
The Associated Press said journalists had gone to the checkpoint to interview refugees streaming out of the area after U.S. cruise-missile attacks. Mr. Moran, another civilian and three Kurdish guerrillas were killed when a car exploded in what appeared to be a suicide-bomb attack.
The other incidents took place in southern Iraq, where most of the journalists were caught up in continued fighting around the border towns of Umm Qasr and Safwan.
British television network ITN reported last night that three members of a television news team were missing, including correspondent Terry Lloyd who, it said, is "known to millions of viewers." A U.S. military spokesman said later that all three had been killed.
ITN said in a formal statement that the crew came under fire near Basra, as they drove toward the city in two vehicles.
"One of the crew, Daniel Demoustier, was injured but was able to get to safety. He was not able to see what happened to his colleagues," said ITN, which noted there were British and Iraqi forces in the area at the time.
In Kuwait City, a U.S. military spokesman said there appeared to have been two other incidents in southern Iraq involving the death or injury of journalists.
A separate military source said three French journalists had been taken captive by Iraqi forces. No further details were available last night.
All took place in areas "not tightly controlled by coalition forces," said Col. Guy Shields, the director of the Coalition Press Information Center in Kuwait.
In one incident, a small convoy of journalists, mostly photographers, became stranded outside Umm Qasr last night and telephoned their editors to seek help from coalition forces.
At least one car was hit by an Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade, and one member of the convoy was said to be injured, said colleagues who reported that they had not been able to flag down passing columns of armored vehicles.
In another incident, a convoy of 24 reporters in 12 vehicles phoned the press center in Kuwait City in a panic, reporting that they were under fire near Umm Qasr. They were rescued by coalition forces.
The Kuwait center has registered more than 2,000 media: more than 500 journalists embedded with U.S. or British military units, and the rest so-called unilaterals, many of whom have raced for the Iraqi border 85 miles north of Kuwait's capital. U.S. officials say they have no way of knowing how many have crossed into Iraq, nor their fate.
Military officials said yesterday that the reporters who placed themselves in harm's way were likely to be acting out of a combination of bravado and professionalism.

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