Journalists Killed  |  Iraq

Hussein Othman

ITV News

March 22, 2003, in Iman Anas, Iraq

On March 22, veteran ITV News correspondent Terry Lloyd, cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman came under fire while driving to the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Lloyd was also killed and Nerac remains missing.

The three, along with cameraman Daniel Demoustier, were traveling in two marked press vehicles in the town of Iman Anas, near Al-Zubayr, when they came under fire, according to the British TV network ITN, which produces ITV News.

Demoustier said the vehicles had been pursued by Iraqi troops who may have been attempting to surrender to the journalists. Demoustier reported that the incoming fire to their vehicles likely came from U.S. or British forces.

Demoustier, whose car crashed into a ditch and caught fire, was injured but escaped. He said he did not see what happened to Lloyd, who was seated next to him, or to the other crew members. Lloyd's body was recovered in a hospital in Basra days later.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2003 that Lloyd's SUV and another vehicle belonging to his colleagues came under fire from U.S. Marines. The article cited accounts from U.S. troops who recalled opening fire on cars marked "TV." Soldiers said they believed that Iraqi suicide bombers were using the cars to attack U.S. troops.

Citing a report from a British security firm commissioned by ITN to investigate the incident, the Journal reported that Lloyd's car was hit by both coalition and Iraqi fire.

The Journal quoted the report as saying that "[t]he Iraqis no doubt mounted an attack using the ITN crew as cover, or perhaps stumbled into the U.S. forces whilst attempting to detain the ITN crew." The report speculated that Nerac and Othman might have been pulled out of their vehicle before it came under fire from coalition forces, and then Iraqi forces used the SUV to attack the coalition forces.

In June 2004, British military investigators said DNA testing confirmed that remains found at the site were those of Othman. Nerac's whereabouts have not been confirmed.


Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.


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