'15 minutes after the tank fired at my colleagues'

ITV News correspondent Neil Connery was in the Palestine Hotel during the attack. He filed this story 15 minutes after the strike.

“Forgive me, I’m slightly breathless. I’ve just come up from the reception of our hotel.

“I was downstairs in the reception and it happened about 15 minutes ago and we saw, I counted at least five people being brought out on carpets, makeshift stretchers. Very chaotic scenes, a lot of people screaming, some covered in blood. Trying to rush these people off, obviously to get them as quickly as they could to hospital for medical treatment. It’s a very confusing scene about exactly where the fire came from -whether it was an Iraqi shell or whether it came from US forces, we just don’t know.

“But what is clear is that some form of shell has struck the hotel, which is full of international journalists. As I say, I counted at least four or five and there may be others that have been injured. I’m not sure how seriously. They have been taken off to hospital literally in the last few minutes. This is the first time that this hotel has come under attack – it’s not clear whether it was intentional or accidental.

“My initial feeling is that perhaps it was accidental, given the amount of fire that is going on around us and has been during the morning. But that is just my personal feeling. What is clear is that some of our colleagues in the media have been injured here this morning.”

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