Witnesses: Killing of cameraman was not an accident

Dana, 41, was filming outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad when he was shot, Reuters added. A U.S. military official said Dana was shot by US troops.

Witnesses said Dana was dressed in civilian clothes. "We were all there, for at least half an hour. They knew we were journalists. After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don’t think it was accident. They are very tense. They are crazy," said Stephan Breitner of France 2 television.

Dana’s driver, Munzer Abbas, said Dana had got out of the car when he saw the tanks approaching.

"We saw a tank, 50 meters away. I heard six shots and Mazen fell to the ground. One of the soldiers started shouting at us, but when he knew we were journalists, he softened. One of the soldiers told us they thought Mazen carrying a rocket-propelled grenade," said Abbas.

"There were many journalists around. They knew we were journalists. This was not an accident," he said.

Reuters quoted soundman Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was with Dana, as saying that the U.S. soldiers "saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission.

Dana’s driver, Munzer Abbas, said Dana had got out of the car when he saw the tanks approaching. "There were many journalists around. They knew we were journalists. This was not an accident," he said.

Reuters quoted soundman Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was with Dana, as saying that the U.S. soldiers "saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission."

Dana was honored by the Committee to Protect Journalists with an International Press Freedom Award in November 2001 for his work covering conflict in his hometown of Hebron in the West Bank. He was shot at least three times in 2000, according to the citation on the group’s web site.

In May 2000, Dana was shot in the leg with a rubber-coated bullet while filming Palestinian youths throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. Two months later, Jewish settlers beat him unconscious while he tried to film a conflict. The next day, an Israeli police officer slammed Dana’s head in the rear door of an ambulance while he was filming the evacuation of a Palestinian youth wounded in clashes. Dana was shot again in October 2000, in the same leg, two days in a row.

Meanwhile, The Al-Arabiya TV news channel said it had received a message purportedly from Saddam Hussein’s number two Izzat Ibrahim promising to avenge the deaths of the former president’s sons.

"I swear that no one will be left at peace as long as Uday and Qusay are not avenged, as long as Iraq is not liberated and as long the infidel colonizers, traitors and apostates are not killed," said the letter, dated July 30.

"Iraqis, old and young, have vowed to avenge the two princes of jihad and the martyrs, Uday and Qusay," added the letter.

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