NPR Reporter Escapes Injury In Car Bombing
December 1, 2008 at 5:26 AM (PT)
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO reporter IVAN WATSON, his Iraqi translator/producer ALI HAMDANI, and two drivers all escaped injury after a bomb planted under their car exploded in BAGHDAD SUNDAY. WATSON was returning from interviewing people in a cafe near an Iraqi army checkpoint and standing fifteen feet away from the armored vehicle when the bomb went off; the car was destroyed but WATSON, HAMDANI, and the others, who were not named for security reasons, were unhurt.
A suspect was arrested SUNDAY, a man with alleged family ties to AL QAEDA.
The network issued a press release stating, "NPR is deeply grateful to the swift actions by Iraqi authorities today in Western BAGHDAD that prevented its American and Iraqi reporting team there from being injured in a bomb attack on their armored vehicle.
"The timely receipt of information from an informant to the Iraqi authorities allowed them to warn the NPR team away from the vehicle after an unknown person or persons had placed a 'sticky bomb,' an explosive device that has been used in numerous vehicle attacks in IRAQ over the past year, beneath the driver's side of the armored BMW, which had been parked in Rabiye Street while the reporting team conducted interviews in a nearby shop. The vehicle exploded in flames seconds later.
"Iraqi authorities have detained a person in connection with their investigation of the attack.
"Despite SUNDAY's attack, and the continued danger and difficulty of reporting from IRAQ, even as the violence levels there fall, NPR remains committed to full and complete coverage of this important story. We would like to thank not only the correspondents, producers and reporters who staff NPR's BAGHDAD Bureau under trying and challenging conditions, but to express our deep gratitude and admiration for our courageous Iraqi colleagues who make this important coverage possible."