Journalists wounded in Israeli airstrike near Gaza
Five people moderately wounded in Israeli airstrike, including two cameramen, near Gaza on Sunday.india Updated: Aug 27, 2006 07:04 IST
Israeli aircraft fired two missiles early Sunday at an armored car belonging to the Reuters news agency, moderately wounding five people, including two cameramen, Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said. The Israeli army said it was checking the report. A Hamas militant was killed in a separate airstrike, hospital officials reported.
The airstrike came as Israeli soldiers backed by two dozen tanks, two bulldozers, helicopters and drone planes moved into an area just inside the Gaza Strip near the Karni crossing, witnesses and Palestinian security officials said.
The army said the troops were searching for explosives planted by Palestinian militants alongside the border fence. The Reuters cameraman, Fadel Shama'a, 23, and Sabah Hamida, 25, who worked for a local television company, had the doors open and were about to get out of the armored vehicle in the nearby Shajaiyeh neighborhood to film the raid when it was struck by the missiles, according to Shamas Odeh, chief of Reuters TV in Gaza. The cameramen, along with three bystanders, were moderately injured with shrapnel wounds and all five were to undergo surgery, hospital officials said.
The front seats of the car were covered in blood and shrapnel had ripped up much of the inside of the vehicle. One of the bulletproof windows was completely destroyed.
The white sports utility vehicle was emblazoned with the Reuters logo and had "TV" and "Press" written on it in English, Arabic and Hebrew.