U.S. troops fighting their way into Baghdad April 8 were justified when they fired a tank round at a local hotel, an incident that killed two television cameramen, a recently concluded U.S. Central Command investigation determined.
Personnel from embattled U.S. units, the release continued, observed what they believed to be enemy troops directing fire against the Americans from the balcony of an upper room of a high-rise building. U.S. witnesses also observed flashes of light -- which appeared to be enemy fire coming from the vicinity of the building.
Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, an award-winning journalist who had covered some of the world's hottest spots, has been shot dead while filming near a U.S.-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Eyewitnesses said Dana, 43, was shot by soldiers on an American tank as he filmed outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad.
His last pictures show a U.S. tank driving towards Dana outside the prison walls. Several shots ring out from the tank, and Dana's camera falls to the ground.
The U.S. military acknowledged on Sunday that its troops had "engaged" a Reuters cameraman, saying they had thought his camera was a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
I feel for the troops -- they're in a lousy situation not of their own making. But it's critical to the success of their current mission that they establish good relations with the locals. If everyone looks like a threat, and every gizmo looks like an RPG, they cannot possibly do that.
And as for the brass, their report is now even less likely to convince anyone who doesn't really want to be convinced...