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US forces 'shot to kill' Terry Lloyd

Stewart Payne / London Telegraph | October 11 2006

Flashback: Intentional Targeting of Independent Journalists

Terry Lloyd, the ITN journalist killed as he reported on the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was deliberately shot by American forces, a solicitor for his family told an inquest yesterday.

The verdict on his death should be unlawful killing, said Anthony Hudson.

Mr Hudson told Andrew Walker, the assistant deputy Oxfordshire coroner, that he could be "satisfied" on the evidence that whoever opened fire on Mr Lloyd did so with the intention of "killing him or causing serious injury".

He said that American forces were willing to open fire on civilians and were not prevented from doing so by their commanders.

Mr Lloyd, 50, died in March 2003 near Basra after his four-man team became caught in crossfire between American and Iraqi forces. Only a cameraman survived.

Mr Lloyd, an experienced war reporter was a "unilateral" journalist – not "embedded" with a unit under military supervision.

His vehicle was clearly marked as "Press" and the fatal shot was fired as he was driven away in an ambulance.

Mr Walker is expected today to reach a verdict after hearing evidence over six days. He has been told that the bullet that killed Mr Lloyd was from an American machinegun, although he had been injured earlier by Iraqi fire.

Witnesses said Mr Lloyd died when the American bullet hit him in the head as he was being driven away in a Red Cross ambulance.

Footage of the attack, filmed by a cameraman attached to the American unit said to have fired on Mr Lloyd, was shown in public for the first time.

The film shows American tanks and soldiers inspecting the smouldering wreckage of Mr Lloyd's 4x4. It was released to the Royal Military Police by American authorities.

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