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Journalists, 31 others killed in Baghdad CBS reporter critically injured as shootings, bombings mount
The San Francisco Chronicle/New York Times
John F. Burns
May 30, 2006

Baghdad -- On a day of soaring violence in Baghdad, two Britons working as members of a CBS television crew were killed on Monday and an American correspondent for the network critically injured when a military patrol they were accompanying was hit by a roadside bomb. Police said at least 31 other people were killed in bombings and shootings in one of the worst days of bloodshed in the capital in weeks.

An American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter also were killed in the attack on a joint U.S. and Iraqi patrol that killed the two CBS crew members, and six other soldiers were wounded, a statement by the American military command said. CBS News said that the journalists were preparing a Memorial Day story on American troops, and had left the humvee in which they were traveling, when the attack occurred around 10:30 a.m. in a middle-class neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.

CBS News named the two dead network employees as Paul Douglas, 48, a cameraman, and James Brolan, 42, a soundman, and said that correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, who has worked long periods in CBS' Baghdad bureau in the past three years, sustained serious injuries.

Dozier, a former Chronicle Foreign Service correspondent, was in critical condition at a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad and underwent two surgeries for injuries from the bombing, said Kelli Edwards, a CBS News spokeswoman. By this morning, doctors had removed shrapnel from Dozier's head but said she had more serious injuries to her lower body, CBS News reported on its Web site.

The violence came as U.S. officials confirmed Monday that the top U.S. commander in Iraq has decided to move reserve troops now in Kuwait into the volatile Anbar province in western Iraq to help quell a surge in insurgents attacks there.

Although some soldiers from the 3,500-member brigade in Kuwait have moved into Iraq in recent months, Gen. George Casey Jr. has decided to send in the remainder of the unit after consultations with Iraqi officials in recent days, the officials said.

The move comes as several senior U.S. officials in Iraq have begun to raise doubts about whether security conditions will permit significant troop reductions in coming months.

"Gen. Casey has been working with the government of Iraq, and he has asked permission to draw forward more forces that will be operating in Anbar," a senior military official said.

Iraqi police said the attack that killed the CBS crewmen was only one of a sequence of at least eight bombings that, together with a series of drive-by shootings, killed at least 33 people and wounded dozens of others, a fresh upsurge in violence that has brought hundreds of deaths in the capital in recent weeks.

The police said 12 Iraqis died and 25 were wounded in a noontime car bombing outside the Abu Hanifa mosque in Adhamiya, a Sunni stronghold in north Baghdad. They said at least seven others died and 20 were wounded when a bomb planted in a parked minivan exploded at the entrance to an open-air clothes market in Khadhimiya, a mainly Shiite area across the Tigris River from Adhamiya.

At least 25 other people were killed in bombing and shooting attacks elsewhere in the country, including 10 Iraqis working at a camp for members of an exiled Iranian communist group who died shortly after dawn when a roadside bomb hit their minivan near Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Two British soldiers were killed on Sunday night when an armored Land Rover hit a roadside bomb in the southern city of Basra. The British deaths brought to nine the number of British troops killed in Iraq this month, one of Britain's highest monthly tolls of the war.

Monday's attack marked the second time this year that a U.S. television network crew embedded with American troops has been hit by a roadside bomb. On Jan. 29, the co-anchor of ABC News' "World News Tonight," Bob Woodruff, and a cameraman, Douglas Vogt, were seriously injured while accompanying a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol.

"This is a devastating loss for CBS News," Sean McManus, the president of CBS News, said in a statement.

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

The American military command in Baghdad said the CBS journalists were embedded with a unit of the 4th Infantry Division, responsible for security in wide areas in and around Baghdad, when they were hit by a car bomb. A CBS spokesman said the journalists were shooting footage for a Memorial Day report on American troops and were outside the armored humvee in which they had been traveling, wearing body armor, when the explosion occurred in the Amina district, a middle-class neighborhood in east Baghdad.

The statement by the U.S. command said the four who died in the attack were victims of "a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device," military terminology for a car bomb.

Douglas had worked for CBS News for more than a decade in hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Linda, as well as two daughters and three grandchildren.

Brolan had worked freelance for the network for a year, in Baghdad and Afghanistan, and was part of the CBS News team that received a 2006 Overseas Press Club Award for its reporting on the Pakistan earthquake. He is survived by a wife and two children.

Dozier, who was born in Honolulu and educated at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the University of Virginia, has spent most of the past 15 years working in Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan for the CBS radio and television networks.

From 1994 to 1997, she filed numerous stories for The Chronicle, mostly from the Mideast and Great Britain.

"She was a pretty good print journalist," said Mark Abel, who was then Chronicle Foreign Service editor. "She was determined to learn the Middle East from the inside out. ... She was very serious about doing hard work. ... She was very, very fearless."

Dozier returned to Baghdad only last week for her latest stint covering the war.

In the past year, the risks of reporting the war have played a part in the steady reduction of the number of Western journalists based in Baghdad. The main hazard has come not from the bombings but from a rash of kidnappings, including the 82 days that Jill Carroll, an American reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, spent as a hostage of an insurgent group before being released in March.

Peril for journalists

Since the start of the war in Iraq in March 2003, 71 journalists have been killed, not including more than two dozen members of their support staff who also have died, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Here is how the toll compares with other wars, according to the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan free speech advocacy group:

Iraq: 71 killed

Vietnam: 63 killed

Korea: 17 killed

World War II: 69 killed

New York Times

Chronicle staff and news services contributed to this report.

Original Text