ITV has revealed the names of all 16 marines it claims were present
when journalist Terry Lloyd was shot dead while working in Iraq nearly
four years ago.
The marines — reportedly of Red Platoon, Delta
Company — were listed one by one on ITV's Evening News at 6.30pm
It is the first time their names have been revealed
in full but US authorities refused to confirm whether the information
read out on air was accurate.
A US Central Command (Centcom)
spokesman would not comment when given a list of the troops allegedly
involved and said Centcom had "no intention" of confirming names.
He added that he would not confirm the units or troops involved unless they were tried and found guilty in a court martial.
Lloyd was killed in a hail of American tank fire as he and three
colleagues approached Iraq's second city of Basra during the US-led
invasion in March 2003.
His family said that US forces had been
allowed to behave like "trigger-happy cowboys" after a coroner recorded
a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest in Oxford last October.
The US troops involved were never publicly identified and did not give evidence during the eight-day hearing.
deputy assistant coroner Andrew Walker said afterwards that he would
write to the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) "to see whether any steps can be taken to bring the perpetrators
responsible for this to justice".
The Lloyd family's lawyer,
Louis Charalambous, said the family welcomed the public outing of the
16 troops and urged them to come forward and explain themselves.
said: "Clearly the fact that they have been named means that really the
scrutiny is on them. We urge them to come forward to talk to us or talk
to the authorities."
The death toll of media workers in Iraq has led to the country becoming the most dangerous place in the world for journalism.
There were 69 deaths last year, bringing to 171 the number killed since the start of the war four years ago.
There have now been more media killings in Iraq than in any country in any known conflict.
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) described the statistics
as "grotesque", leading to increased calls for more protection for
reporters, photographers and other members of the media.
"Few observers see little likelihood of an early end to the wave of assaults on the media," said an official of the IFJ.
if political chaos and armed occupation of the country remains in
place, journalists – whether foreign or local – will continue to be in
the firing line.
"Many of the journalists were targeted by the
warring factions in Iraq, symbolising the decline and disintegration of
the country into a sectarian bloodbath."
IFJ general secretary Aiden White said: "These
brazen attacks on journalists are an outrage. Journalists are being
killed with impunity in broad daylight, in public places and in their
"Journalism has become a deadly profession in Iraq and
each new attack is not only an attack on an individual but on press
freedom as well."
Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National
Union of Journalists, said: "Iraq is now the most dangerous conflict
ever for journalists, who are being targeted for attack."