A veteran British war correspondent, missing in southern Iraq along with a cameraman and their translator, were presumed dead after being hit by "friendly fire" from allied tanks, according to a newspaper report yesterday.
Journalist Terry Lloyd, 51, cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman, 28, a Lebanese resident in Kuwait, went missing as they were traveling to the southeast Iraqi city of Basra, the immediate objective of US-led forces invading Iraq, Lloyd's employer ITN television news said.
Another cameraman in the crew, Daniel Demoustier, was injured in the incident at the town of Iman Anas, but was able to get to safety.
He was rescued from a roadside ditch by Barbara Jones, a journalist for the Mail on Sunday weekly, who reported that US tanks had fired on the television crew.
Jones said in an article for her paper that Demoustier told her his crew's Jeeps had been fired on by tanks while they were trying to drive away from a group of Iraqi soldiers. The Iraqis had apparently been trying to surrender.
"Immediately the allied tanks started heavy firing directly at us. Rounds were coming straight at the Jeep, smashing the windows and puncturing holes in the bodywork," Demoustier was quoted as saying.
"Then the whole car was on fire. We were enveloped in flames. It was terrifying.
"I'm so angry that we were fired on by the allies. The Iraqis must have been their real target but I'm sure they were surrendering -- and anyway they were all dead within minutes."
ITN said in its evening news program Saturday: "Fourteen hours after the incident, we still have no conclusive evidence as to the whereabouts of the three missing men. However, such evidence as we do have has given us increased cause for concern."
"Of course our thoughts tonight are with the families of Terry, Fred and Hussein Othman."
Britain's Ministry of Defence said that it was still not clear what had happened to Lloyd and his colleagues.
"We are still trying to establish the details of what happened," a spokesman said.
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
NINE TYPES: One of the devices can be carried by a single soldier and can destroy high-value, high-risk vehicles as well as target personnel, an official said Taiwan’s top military research body yesterday unveiled nine domestically developed drones in Taichung, including a loitering munition, or “suicide drone,” similar to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300. The surveillance and attack drones shown to the media by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology included the Albatross medium-range uncrewed aerial vehicle Nos. 1 and 2, and the Teng Yun 2 and Cardinal 2 and 3 indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicles. The institute also unveiled a domestically made drone inspired by the AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which Ukrainian forces have employed in the country’s war with Russia. Aeronautical Systems Research Division head Chi Li-pin (齊立平)
PARTIAL SUPPORT: Morris Chang said he agrees with the US’ goal to slow advances of China’s chip sector, but US policies that might boost chip prices perplex him Washington’s efforts to on-shore semiconductor production might lead to surges in chip prices and supply bottlenecks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday. The 91-year-old industry veteran said he supports parts of Washington’s effort to slow China’s progress on advanced chip manufacturing. China is still six years behind Taiwan in making advanced chips, despite years-long efforts to catch up, Chang told a Commonwealth Magazine forum that he coheadlined with Tufts University assistant professor Chris Miller, an expert on the US-China rivalry’s effects on chip manufacturing. However, Chang said that other parts of the effort, particularly Washington’s on-shoring
‘WRONG DECISION’: Honduras should carefully consider the situation, and not fall into China’s trap and jeopardize the bilateral friendship, the foreign ministry said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it had expressed “grave concern” to the government of Honduras after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that it would pursue official diplomatic relations with China. In addition to issuing a statement, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) summoned Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos to the ministry in Taipei early yesterday to voice the government’s concerns. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and Burgos did not make any public comments upon arriving at the ministry. Burgos said shortly after noon that he had not yet heard from his country’s