Monday, May 29, 2006

2 CBS crew members killed in Iraq bombing

NEW YORK - A CBS News cameraman and soundman were killed and a correspondent was seriously injured Monday after their U.S. military convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq, the network said.

Veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42, were killed, said Kelli Edwards, a CBS News spokeswoman. Correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, was in critical condition at a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad after undergoing surgery.

CBS did not release any additional information about her injuries but said doctors were cautiously optimistic about her prognosis.

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly," CBS News President Sean McManus said in a statement.

The three were reporting on patrol with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when their convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device, CBS said.

It was one of eight blasts in Iraq that killed at least 33 people and wounded dozens in the worst wave of violence to hit Baghdad in days.

According to CBS, the journalists were reporting from outside their Humvee and were believed to have been wearing their protective gear.

Douglas, who was based in London, had worked for CBS News since the early 1990s in places including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia. Brolan, who also was based in London, had worked with CBS News during the last year in Baghdad and Afghanistan as a freelancer.

Dozier has been reporting on the war in Iraq for nearly three years, CBS said. She had served as the chief correspondent for WCBS-TV New York's Middle East bureau in Jerusalem, and previously was London bureau chief and chief European correspondent for CBS Radio News.

"Kimberly, Paul and James were veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day," McManus said. "They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public."

Dozens of journalists have been injured, killed or kidnapped in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Before Monday's attack, the Committee to Protect Journalists had put the number at 69. Of those, nearly three-quarters were Iraqis, the New York-based group said.

Among the most visible was ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who was injured with cameraman Doug Vogt when they were hit by shrapnel on Jan. 29.

They were standing in the hatch of an Iraqi mechanized vehicle, reporting on the war from the Iraqi troops' perspective, when the roadside bomb exploded. Both were wearing body armor, which doctors say likely saved their lives. Woodruff is recovering from serious head injuries.



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