NEW YORK — A car bomb blast in Iraq killed two CBS News journalists and seriously injured a third as they attempted to cover the troops on Memorial Day.
The CBS television crew was traveling Monday with the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in central Baghdad when a powerful car bomb detonated, killing cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42. A U.S. Army officer and an Iraqi interpreter were also killed in the attack.
Correspondent Kimberly Dozier was seriously injured and underwent surgery at a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad. She is in critical condition, but doctors were cautiously optimistic about her prognosis. Six other soldiers also were injured.
Incident follows a similar one in January in which ABC News cameraman Doug Vogt and anchor Bob Woodruff were injured when a roadside bomb exploded next to the mechanized vehicle in which they were riding.
“This is a devastating loss for CBS News,” said CBS News and Sports prexy Sean McManus of Monday’s explosion. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly.”
The CBS crew was filming a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi troops through the Iraqi capital Monday morning. They were reporting outside their Humvee when the bomb was detonated. CBS said they were “believed to have been wearing their protective gear.”
After the blast, journalists converged on the scene. Iraqi employees of the New York Times described a crater in the road and a scene littered with shattered glass from buildings as far as 100 yards away. The bombing was one of eight Monday that killed at least 40 people around Iraq, Reuters reported.
Both cameraman Douglas and soundman Brolan were British citizens based in London. Douglas had worked for CBS in numerous war-torn locales since the early 1990s, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia. Brolan, a former member of Britain’s Royal Green Jackets, was a freelancer who had worked for CBS News in Baghdad and Afghanistan over the past year.
Dozier, 39, has been a CBS News correspondent, reporting from Iraq, for three years. Before that, she was London bureau chief and chief European correspondent for CBS Radio News. She returned for a tour of Iraq just days after the roadside bomb that hit ABC’s Woodruff and Vogt in January.
Woodruff, who co-anchored “World News Tonight” with Elizabeth Vargas, is still recovering from head injuries and broken bones but is expected to return to work at ABC News at some point. The net recently announced that Charlie Gibson would take over the “World News Tonight” desk as sole anchor.
A total of 96 journalists and news personnel such as translators and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war, according to Reporters Without Borders, making it the most deadly conflict for journalists since WWII.