LONDON – A British television news reporter who disappeared in southern Iraq was believed to have been killed by "friendly fire," his employer said Sunday.
ITN television news said its reporter Terry Lloyd and two colleagues apparently were caught in a barrage of "friendly fire" Saturday and the network "received sufficient evidence" that Lloyd was dead.
"We believe his body to be in Basra hospital, which is still under Iraqi control," a network statement said.
ITN said it still had no information on the whereabouts of Lloyd's missing colleagues, cameraman Fred Nerac, of Belgium, and translator Hussein Osman, of Lebanon.
"Iraqi ambulances took a number of dead and injured from the area into Basra, and locally based journalists have given ITN information which leaves no doubt that Terry Lloyd's body was among the dead," the ITN statement said.
The three vanished after coming under fire Saturday en route to Basra in southern Iraq.
"ITN believes this fire came from coalition forces," the statement said. "There is independent evidence that it was American troops who fired."
The statement did not elaborate. Britain's Ministry of Defense declined to comment.
Another ITN cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, was injured as the crew drove toward Basra in two vehicles. ITN said Demoustier was unable to see what happened to his colleagues.
The statement said there were "irregular" Iraqi soldiers in the area near the crew, and it believed coalition soldiers mistook the journalists for armed enemy combatants.
"We assume that is why they opened fire," the statement said.
The four-wheel drive ITN cars were marked "TV," but it was unclear whether the marking was visible to soldiers, ITN said.
Also Saturday, a freelance cameraman with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. was among at least five people killed by an apparent car bomb at a checkpoint near a camp of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al-Islam.
At least eight other people were injured.
Paul Moran, 39, was killed in the attack in northern Iraq. ABC correspondent Eric Campbell suffered minor shrapnel injuries, a network statement said.