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Iraq Transition

CBS stringer arrested in Iraq

U.S. military suspects cameraman of being an insurgent


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Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment exit a Stryker armored vehicle during a gunbattle February 12 in Mosul.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A CBS stringer has been arrested as a suspected insurgent, U.S. military officials said Friday.

The video cameraman was wounded during a firefight in northeastern Mosul between U.S. troops and insurgents Tuesday.

U.S. military officials said the man's camera held footage of a number of roadside bomb attacks against American troops, and they believe he was tipped off to those attacks.

A U.S. military statement said troops believe the man "poses an imperative threat to coalition forces" and that he "will be processed as any other security detainee."

CBS said the photographer was hired about three months ago, and it asked news organizations not to identify him.

In a written statement, the network said the man was referred to the network by a "fixer" in Tikrit "who has had a trusted relationship with CBS News for two years."

"It is common practice in Iraq for Western news organizations to hire local cameramen in places considered too dangerous for Westerners to work effectively," the network said.

"The very nature of their work often puts them in the middle of very volatile situations."

One official said at least four videos in the man's camera show roadside bomb attacks on U.S. troops.

All had been shot in a manner that suggested the cameraman had prior knowledge of the attacks and had scouted a shooting location in sight of the target.

"The individual in question was carrying press credentials from CBS News. Military officials detained this individual and are conducting an investigation into his previous activities as well as his alleged support of anti-Iraqi insurgency activities," a U.S. military statement said Friday.

The U.S. military has said that the cameraman was shot by soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment after it appeared to them he had a weapon.

The U.S. military said the shooting occurred amid the chaos of a suicide bombing and that the cameraman was standing next to an armed insurgent at the time.

U.S. troops have been fighting insurgents in Mosul almost daily.

Execution-style shootings

Meanwhile, the bodies of 10 civilians shot to death execution-style have been found near Baquba in northern Iraq, a hospital official said Friday.

They were found Thursday inside black body bags in Balad Rooz, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Baquba in Diyala province.

Iraqi soldiers took the bodies to a hospital morgue late Thursday.

Iraqi security forces are investigating the shootings, the doctor said.

In other violence, an Iraqi police officer was killed in Baghdad and a U.S. Marine died in Falluja.

That death brings to 1,544 the number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war.

CNN's Barbara Starr, Mike Mount and Enes Dulami contributed to this report.


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