- AL-KHALIL, West Bank (IslamOnline.net)
-- The brother of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana said he was deliberately
murdered for discovering mass graves of U.S. troops killed in Iraqi resistance
- "The U.S. troops killed my brother in cold blood,"
Nazmi Dana told IslamOnline.net in exclusive statements.
- "The U.S. occupation troops shot dead my brother
on purpose, although he was wearing his press badge, which was also emblazoned
on the car he was driving," he said.
- He also recalled that his brother had obtained a prior
permit from the U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq to film in the site.
- On Sunday, August 17 , U.S. troops shot dead the award-winning
Reuters cameraman while he was filming near the U.S.-run Abu Gharib prison
- His last pictures show a U.S. tank driving toward him
outside the prison walls, several shots ring out from the tank and the
camera falls to the ground.
- Mass Grave
- "Mazen told me by phone few days before his death
that he discovered a mass grave dug by U.S. troops to conceal the bodies
of their fellow comrades killed in Iraqi resistance attacks," Nazmi
- "He also told me that he found U.S. troops covered
in plastic bags in remote desert areas and he filmed them for a TV program.
We are pretty sure that the American forces had killed Mazen knowingly
to prevent him from airing his finding."
- Nazmi said that the U.S. occupation troops were slowing
down the transfer of his brother,s body to his hometown city of Al-Khalil
(Hebron) in the West Bank.
- "At the very beginning, the Americans refused to
transfer his body outside Iraq. After Reuters intervened they offered to
allow us to take the body to Jordan by road but we refused because of the
state of insecurity in Iraq," he said.
- "Thanks to Reuters international and diplomatic
contacts, the U.S. troops reluctantly agreed to transfer the body on an
army plane to Kuwait. From there, the body will be flown to Jordan and
finally Palestine to be laid to rest," added the grieved brother.
- Last Mission
- Mazen's wife, Umm Hamza, did not rule out that the U.S.
troops targeted her husband personally, noting they had agreed to give
him a permit to film Abu Gharib prison and then he was directly shot dead
by two U.S. tanks.
- Resolved as she was, Umm Hamza said the death of her
husband came as a bombshell, especially that she expected him to be killed
while covering the developments in Palestine for his bravery and rare heroism.
- "Filming Abu Gharib was his last mission; he was
scheduled to leave Baghdad after getting the job done.
- "I lost the dearest man to my heart, he was caring
and was loved by all his friends and relatives," she lamented.
- Settlers' Enemy
- Mazen's camera was the Israeli settlers' archenemy, given
that he exposed to the entire world their terrorism against the Palestinians
and their wildcat outposts sprawling in four Al-Khalil posts.
- His death cast a pall of sadness over the Palestinian
territories and reporters, who mourned him as "a matchless colleague."
- All international and local news agencies sent cables
of condolences to his family, lauding his patriotism and determination
to uncover the truth wherever it was.
- The Palestinian information ministry and press syndicate
issued two separate statements, condemning the attack on Mazen and the
continued targeting of journalists.
- The two statements demanded the U.S. to show some respect
for human beings, particularly reporters, pointing out that Mazen was a
distinguished journalist who did his best to serve his country and cause.
- The ministry further urged all Arab and international
press unions "to open a probe into this crime and expose to the entire
world the murderers who have blood on their hands and put them on trial."
- Colleagues Mourn
- Furthermore, dozens of Palestinian journalists protested
on Tuesday morning in Al-Khalil at the killing of Mazen.
- The marchers put on a peaceful demonstration from the
House of the Palestinian Press established by the deceased and other journalists.
- In Bethlehem, journalists also held a mock funeral for
Mazen, denouncing the U.S. occupation of Iraq and displaying placards condemning
- A U.S. military inquiry has recently exonerated an American
tank crew for firing on a Baghdad hotel housing journalists, killing two
foreign reporters and wounded three others.
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