Producer, driver injured; guard returns fire
Acting in defense, an armed guard traveling with a CNN crew in Iraq opened fire with a machine gun Sunday after the news team came under attack in the city of Tikrit.
The ancestral home of Saddam Hussein, Tikrit is not yet entirely secured by U.S. military forces.
No one traveling in the two-car CNN convoy was killed. CNN producer Maria Fleet, who was on assignment with correspondent Brent Sadler, was nicked by flying glass when several Iraqis started shooting.
The driver was grazed across the forehead and remained in the hospital.
It was unclear whether any Iraqis were injured by the CNN security guard.
CNN spokesman Matt Furman said it is standard procedure for journalists to travel with armed security forces in dangerous zones, such as Afghanistan.
“The reporters themselves are never armed,” Furman said.
Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based media watchdog org, harshly criticized CNN.
“There is a real risk that belligerents will believe all press vehicles are armed,” RWB security expert Robert Menard said.
Also Sunday, CNN correspondent Bob Franken was present as the U.S. military freed seven American POWs captured by Iraqi forces in the early days of the war.