Journalists who were with a Reuters news cameraman shot dead by US troops while filming outside a Baghdad prison yesterday accused the soldiers of behaving in a "crazy" and negligent fashion.
They claimed the Americans had spotted the Reuters crew outside the jail half an hour before Mazen Dana was killed and must have realised he was not a guerrilla carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The chief executive of Reuters, Tom Glocer, said: "The latest death is hard to bear. That's why I am calling upon the highest levels of the US government for a full and comprehensive investigation into this terrible tragedy."
Dana, 43, is the second Reuters cameraman to be killed since the US-led force invaded Iraq. His death brought to 17 the number of journalists or their assistants who have died in Iraq since the war began on March 20.
The journalist was killed on Sunday when soldiers in two tanks opened fire while he was filming near Abu Ghurayb prison, which had earlier come under mortar attack.
The US army, which has launched an investigation, claimed its soldiers thought his camera was a weapon.
But colleagues who were with the award-winning cameraman when he was killed told a different story.
Nael al-Shyoukhi, a Reuters soundman, said the soldiers "saw us and they knew about our identities and our mission.
"After we filmed we went into the car and prepared to go when a convoy led by a tank arrived and Mazen stepped out of the car to film.
"I followed him and Mazen walked three to four metres. We were noted and seen clearly.