Reuters Cameraman Freed After Iraq Shooting

By: Alastair Macdonald, Reuters

(Reuters) A Reuters cameraman was freed on Wednesday after being held for three days by U.S. troops following an incident in which his soundman was shot dead, apparently by American soldiers.

Haider Kadhem, 24, was questioned about “inconsistencies” in his statements after he was taken from the car in which soundman Waleed Khaled was killed on Sunday by multiple shots to the head and chest while on a news assignment.

Iraqi police said U.S. troops fired on the Reuters team, both Iraqis.

A U.S. military spokesman said their investigation was continuing.

Kadhem suffered superficial wounds from flying fragments.

Waleed Khaled, who was driving, was the fourth Reuters journalist killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003. Two are known to have been killed by American fire.

A third was shot dead in Ramadi last November in circumstances for which Reuters is still seeking an explanation from U.S. forces.

Reuters’ cameraman in the city of Ramadi, Ali al-Mashhadani, was arrested by U.S. forces three weeks ago and is being held without charge in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

A military spokesman said on Wednesday that a joint Iraqi- U.S. tribunal, meeting in secret on Monday, had ordered him to be held indefinitely pending a review within six months.

No accusation has been made public and Mashhadani will be allowed no visits, including from an attorney, for two months.

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