Deadly Attack On CBS News Crew

James Brolan, Kimberly Dozier, and Paul Douglas
Two members of a CBS News team, veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42, were killed and correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, was seriously injured Monday when the U.S. Army unit in which they were embedded was attacked.

They were reporting on patrol with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb. They were reporting a "routine" story, covering American troops for Memorial Day.

They were only planning to be out for a few hours, in order to be back to the CBS Baghdad bureau in time to edit their piece and do a live shot for the CBS Early Show.

Following what the U.S. military is calling a "curious incident," in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad, Dozier, Douglas and Brolan got out of their armored vehicle. That's when a nearby car packed with explosives detonated. Douglas and Brolan died at the scene.

Dozier sustained serious injuries and was flown to a U.S. military hopsital inside Baghada's Green Zone, where she underwent surgery. She is in critical condition, but doctors are cautiously optimistic about her prognosis.

The attack was among a wave of car and roadside bombs that left about three dozen people dead before noon Monday, including one explosion that killed 10 people on a bus. Nearly all the attacks occurred in Baghdad.

"This is a devastating loss for CBS News," said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, in a CBS statement. "Kimberly, Paul and James were veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day. They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public."

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly. Countless men and women put their lives on the line, day in and day out, in Iraq and other dangerous spots around the world, and they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for the work they do," McManus said.

Douglas, 48, had worked for CBS News in many countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia, since the early 1990s. He leaves behind a wife, two daughters and three grandchildren. Brolan, 42, was a freelancer who had worked with CBS News in Baghdad and Afghanistan over the past year. He was part of the CBS News team that had received a 2006 Overseas Press Club Award for its reporting on the Pakistan earthquake.

Dozier, 39, has been a CBS News correspondent, reporting from Iraq, for the past three years, Before that, she served as London bureau chief and chief European correspondent for CBS Radio News from 1996-2002. Dozier is the recipient of three American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Awards for her radio reports on Mideast violence, Kosovo and the Afghan war.

Dozier and her London-based crew are among the latest American television journalists to become casualties in Iraq. Former ABC News "World News Tonight" co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt suffered severe injuries in a roadside bombing in Iraq Jan. 29, 2006. Woodruff is still recovering from serious head injuries and broken bones. Cameraman Vogt has returned home to France for more rehab.

On April 6, 2003, David Bloom, 39, an American journalist for NBC television, embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq died from an apparent blood clot near Baghdad.

All over the region, explosions began just after dawn, with one roadside bomb killing 10 people and injuring another 12 who worked for an Iranian organization opposed to the regime in Iran, police said.

A car bomb parked near Baghdad's main Sunni Abu Hanifa mosque killed at least nine Iraqi civilians and wounded 25, said Saif al-Janabi, director of Noaman hospital. It exploded at noon in north Baghdad's Azamiyah neighborhood and was so powerful it vaporized the vehicle. Rescue crews and Iraqi army soldiers were carrying stretchers toward waiting ambulances, Associated Press TV footage showed.

A bomb planted in a parked minivan killed at least seven and injured at least 20 when it exploded at the entrance to an open-air market selling secondhand clothes in the northern Baghdad suburb of Kazimiyah.

Another parked car bomb exploded near Ibin al-Haitham college in Azamiyah, also in northern Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding at least five others - including four Iraqi soldiers, police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said.

In Baghdad's Tahariyat Square, a parked car bomb targeting an American convoy killed one civilian and injured nine , police Lt. Col. Abbas Mohammed Salman said. It was not known if there were any U.S. casualties, but at least one Humvee was seen on fire.

A second bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol near the square killed one and wounded 10 - including four police.

In other attacks, a roadside bomb killed two police officer and wounded three others in downtown Baghdad's Karradah district, while one man was killed and six were injured when a bomb hidden in a minivan used as a bus exploded.

The day's most serious attack targeted a public bus near Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad in Diyala province, an area notorious for such attacks, provincial police said.

All the dead were workers at the Ashraf base of the Mujahedeen Khalk, or MEK, which opposes Iran's regime. The group, made up of Iranian dissidents living in Iraq, said the dead were Iraqi workers heading to their camp.

The blast pushed in the side of the white public bus and peppered its blackened side with shrapnel holes. The bus, later inspected by U.S. Army troops, was streaked in blood, Associated Press TV footage showed.

"We were transporting the workers from Baqouba to the Mujahedeen Khalk when the roadside bomb exploded and killed all these people," one man who was on the bus told AP TV.

In other recent developments:

  • Defense witnesses in the trial of Saddam Hussein argued Monday that a court which sentenced 148 Shiites to death following a 1980s assassination attempt on the former Iraqi leader was fair and gave the defendants a proper defense.

    Monday's session went without the numerous outbursts that have marred the court in the past. Saddam and seven former members of his regime are on trial on charges of crimes against humanity for killings, torture and the imprisonment of families during the crackdown launched after a 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the Shiite town of Dujail.

  • There is no word yet on the fate of the two missing crew members of a U.S. Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter which crashed Saturday in western Anbar province. U.S. military officials say the crash is not believed to have been the result of hostile fire.
  • Gunmen killed two police officers when they attacked a convoy in western Baghdad. Another group seriously wounded a police colonel in nearby Ghazaliyah. Two other police officers, identified as former Baathists, were killed in Amarah.
  • A prominent Sunni Arab tribal leader who provided fighters to help battle al Qaeda in western Iraq was assassinated Sunday in Baghdad. Sheik Osama al-Jadaan died in a hail of bullets as he was driving in the city's Mansour district. His driver and one of his bodyguards were also killed. Al-Jadaan, a leader of the Karabila tribe with thousands of members living in the volatile Anbar province along the border with Syria, had agreed to help the U.S.-backed Iraqi government track down al Qaeda members and foreign fighters.
  • Iraq's parliament met Monday to discuss the tenuous security situation. U.S. officials hope Iraqis will be able to take on more security duties soon, allowing American forces to begin pulling out. But a week after al-Maliki's unity government took office, Iraq's ethnic, sectarian and secular parties are struggling to agree on who should run the crucial interior and defense ministries, which control the various Iraqi security forces.

    Al-Maliki's spokesman, Yassin Majid, said if negotiations took much longer, the prime minister would ask the political blocs to present three names for each ministry so he could decide.