Beeb’s body count

Channel backs doc showing dead soldiers

LONDON — The BBC has refused to cut docu footage of two dead British soldiers who fought in the Iraq War, despite requests from Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Ministry of Defense and relatives of the deceased.

Doc, part of the award-winning “Correspondent” series, is skedded to air Sunday on BBC2. It will focus on Arab satcaster Al-Jazeera and look at the differences in coverage of the war between the Arab world and the West, and the treatment of prisoners of war and casualties.

Al-Jazeera broadcast footage of soldiers Simon Cullingworth and Luke Allsopp lying dead next to their vehicle. It has been suggested the soldiers were executed when their Land Rover was ambushed March 23.

“We have said to any television station showing pictures of soldiers injured or killed that the media should respect the feelings of families, especially at what must be a very difficult time for them,” a government spokesperson said.

The BBC argues the program is in the public interest and that the faces of the soldiers will be pixilated to disguise them. “We remain deeply sympathetic to the feelings of anyone who has lost family or friends in Iraq,” the BBC said in a statement.

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