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BBC Cameraman Killed in Iraq

Golestan, a 52-year old Iranian national who had freelanced for the BBC for the past three years, was killed instantly when he stepped out of his car onto a land mine in the town of Kifri, located in the southern part of Kurdish-controlled Iraq, the BBC said.

Golestan was part of the BBC’s four-man crew filming in Kifri, a scene of heavy fighting between Iraqi troops and Kurdish and coalition forces.

The explosion also injured BBC producer Stuart Hughes, 31, who was transported to the nearby American Military Hospital in Sulaymaniya for treatment for a foot injury.

Correspondent Jim Muir and their local translator were unharmed, the BBC said in a statement posted on its Web site.

“Kaveh Golestan was an outstanding photojournalist who had worked in support of freedom of expression in his native Iran and elsewhere, and was well known to many western news organizations,” Richard Sambrook, BBC’s director of news in London, said in the BBC’s online statement.

“He had worked with the BBC for many years..Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends.”

“This once again underlines the dangers faced by news teams covering the war in Iraq,” Sambrook noted.

Golestan, a veteran photographer and cameraman, became a contract cameraman for the BBC in Tehran, Iran in September 2000, and continued working as a freelancer for past three years.

Golestan also freelanced for other western news organizations, including Associated Press Television News and Time magazine.

His Pulitzer-Prize winning work includes his widely acclaimedcoverage of the Iranian Revolution and the 1988 gassing of the Kurdish-held town of Halabja, which killed some 5,000 people, during the Iran-Iraq war.

The photographer is survived by his wife and 19-year old son.

Golestan’s death brings to four the number of foreign journalists known to have died while reporting on the Iraq war.

Those other journalists include: Gaby Rado, a foreign affairs correspondent for ITN’s Channel 4 News, found dead at his hotel in northern Iraq on March 30; Paul Moran, a freelance photographer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, killed by a car bomb in northern Iraq on March 22; and, Terry Lloyd, a correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News, killed in an alleged “friendly fire” incident near the southern Iraqi city of Basra on March 23.

Two of Lloyd’s co-workers, Fred Nerac and Hussein Osman, remain missing from the gunfire incident that killed Lloyd.

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