Iraq Blast Kills Two On Crew For CBS
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
BAGHDAD, May 29 -- A car bomb explosion in central Baghdad Monday killed two CBS News crew members, an Iraqi interpreter and a U.S. soldier, and severely wounded the news team's correspondent, in one of a string of attacks that killed dozens of people in Iraq over the course of the day.
Paul Douglas, a cameraman, and James Brolan, a sound man, died in the blast, CBS News said in a statement. Both men were British citizens based in London. Kimberly Dozier, an American correspondent who has covered the war in Iraq for nearly three years, was taken to a Baghdad hospital for surgery. The network said she was listed in critical condition and that doctors were "cautiously optimistic" about her prognosis.
U.S. military authorities did not identify the soldier and the interpreter who were killed. Six other soldiers were wounded, the military said in a statement.
The president of CBS News, Sean McManus, said that Dozier was undergoing a second round of surgery in Baghdad and that the network hoped she would be evacuated to Germany as soon as possible. Doctors successfully removed shrapnel from Dozier's head, but her more serious injuries are to her lower body, CBS News correspondent David Martin reported. She had been in Iraq only for a few days on this visit and was in New York last weekend, according to McManus.
The news team had been traveling in a convoy with the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, working on a Memorial Day report. On its Web site, CBS News said they had planned to stay out only a few hours in order to get back to their bureau to edit their report.
The convoy had stopped to inspect an Iraqi army checkpoint when a car bomb blew up nearby. Dozier, 39, Douglas, 48, and Brolan, 42, were outside the convoy's Humvees at the time to film the American soldiers inspecting the checkpoint. The network said it believed they were wearing helmets and body armor.
The three journalists were the latest to become casualties in a conflict that has claimed the lives of 71 reporters, most of them Iraqis, since it began in 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
On Jan. 29, in the most recent incident involving Americans, Bob Woodruff, then co-anchor of the ABC News "World News Tonight," and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, suffered serious wounds when the Iraqi military vehicle in which they were traveling was struck by a roadside bomb. Both men are still recovering.
In an interview, McManus called the attack "horribly sad." Iraq is "the most dangerous place on Earth right now, and we take every precaution," he said. He added that CBS would not pull back on its war coverage. "The reporters have a very strong obligation and passion to cover this story."
"What people need to know about Paul is what an amazing human being he was, as well as a great professional," said Jim Murphy, a former executive producer of the "CBS Evening News" who worked with both Douglas and Dozier. "So many times, I watched him get us out of dangerous situations just with his body language or the right words. He projected this great strength but amazing calm at the same time."
Brolan was a freelancer who had worked with CBS News in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past year. He was part of a CBS News team that received a 2006 Overseas Press Club Award for its reporting on the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.
Dozier, born in Honolulu, has been a foreign correspondent specializing in the Middle East since the early 1990s and speaks Arabic and Hebrew. She has worked in radio and print -- she was a freelance reporter for The Washington Post in 1994 -- as well as television. She won three American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Awards for her reports on violence in the Middle East, Kosovo and Afghanistan.